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MYTH: The Fallacy of Race 

MYTH: The Fallacy of Race 


with a foreword by 



First printing 1945 
Second printing 1946 
Third printing 





Ethnic facts, though they constitute the 
main problem in the early stages of his- 
tory, gradually lose momentum in pro- 
portion to the progress of civilization. 

On the reality or unreality of this prin- 
ciple, which dominates at the present 
hour the secret or avowed aspirations 
of the peoples, depends the whole of 
their future. Peace among peoples and 
the crown of such a peace that is, the 
vast solidarity of mankind, the dream 
of the future can in any case only tri- 
umph when founded on the conviction 
of the organic and mental equality of 
peoples and races. JEAN FINOT 


DR. ASHLEY MONTAGU'S book possesses two great merits 
arely found in current discussions ot human problems. 
Where most writers over-simplify, he insists on the 
principle of multiple and interlocking causation. And where 
most assume that "facts will speak for themselves," he makes 
it clear that facts are mere ventriloquists' dummies, and can 
be made to justify any course of action that appeals to the 
socially conditioned passions of the individuals concerned. 

These two truths are sufficiently obvious; but they are 
seldom recognized, for the good reason that they are very 
depressing. To recognize the first truth is to recognize the fact 
that there are no panaceas and that therefore most of the 
golden promises made by political reformers and revolution- 
aries are illusory. And to recognize the truth that facts 
do not speak for themselves, but only as man's socially con- 
ditioned passions dictate, is to recognize that our current 
educational processes can do very little to ameliorate the 
state of the world. In the language of traditional theology (so 
much more realistic, in many respects, than the "liberal" 
philosophies which replaced it), most ignorance is voluntary 
and depends upon acts of the conscious or subconscious will. 
Thus, the fallacies underlying the propaganda of racial hatred 
are not recognized because, as Dr. Montagu points out, most 
people have a desire to act aggressively, and the members of 
other ethnic groups are convenient victims, whom one may 
attack with a good conscience. This desire to act aggressively 
has its origins in the largely unavoidable frustrations imposed 
upon the individual by the processes of early education and 
later adjustments to the social environment. 

Dr. Montagu might have added that aggressiveness pays a 
higher dividend in emotional satisfaction than does coopera- 


tion. Cooperation may produce a mild emotional glow; but 
the indulgence of aggressivness can be the equivalent of a 
drinking bout or sexual orgy. In our industrial societies, the 
goodness of life is measured in terms of the number and 
intensity of the excitements experienced. (Popular philoso- 
phy is moulded by, and finds expression in, the advertising 
pages of popular magazines. Significantly enough, the word 
that occurs more frequently in those pages than any other 
is "thrill.") Like sex and alcohol, aggressiveness can give 
enormous thrills. Under existing social conditions, it is there- 
fore easy to represent aggressiveness as good. 

Concerning the remedies for the social diseases he has so 
penetratingly diagnosed, Dr. Montagu says very little, except 
that they will have to consist in some process of education. 
But what process? It is to be hoped that he will answer this 
question at length in another work. 


IN OUR TIME the problem of race has assumed an alarmingly 
exaggerated importance. Alarming, because racial dogmas 
have been made the basis for an inhumanly brutal poli- 
tical philosophy which has already resulted in the death or 
social disiranchisement of millions of innocent individuals; 
exaggerated, because when the nature of contemporary "race" 
theory is scientifically analyzed and understood it ceases to 
be of any significance for social or any other kind of action. 
It has been well said that there is no domain where the 
sciences, philosophy, and politics blend to so great an extent 
and in their contact have so much importance to the man 
of the present day and of the future as in modern "race" 
theory. Few problems in our time more pressingly require 
solution than this. It is highly desirable, therefore, that the 
facts about "race," as science has come to know them, should 
be widely disseminated and clearly understood. To this end 
the present volume has been written. 

This book is not, however, a textbook or a treatise on 
"race." It purports to be an examination of a contemporary 
aspect of "race" theory, and seeks only to clarify the reader's 
thinking upon an important subject about which clear think- 
ing is generally avoided. It would be quite beyond the powers 
of a single person to say all that there is to be said upon the 
subject. As Aldous Huxley has put it, "The problem of race 
is as much a problem for historians and psychologists as for 
geneticists. Anything like a definite and authoritative solu- 
tion of it must be cooperative. Also, to carry conviction, it 
should be official and international. The race theory claims 
to be scientific. It is, surely then, the business of science, as 
organized in the universities and learned societies of the 
civilized world, to investigate this claim." 


It is as a contribution towards such an end from a scientist, 
who is a student both of human culture and human biology, 
that the present volume is offered. 

It may appear to some that I have been a little hard on the 
physical anthropologists. I can only plead that as a physical 
anthropologist myself I believe it is high time that the tradi- 
tional conception of "race" held by my professional brethren 
be dealt with frankly. Friends can afford to be frank, let 
enemies be cautious. 

Much of the material presented in this volume has ap- 
peared separately in the form of articles published under the 
following titles and in the following journals: "The Problem 
of Race," the New York Times, 13 August 1939 (reprinted 
in the Teaching Biologist, IX [1939], 25-26); "Race and 
Kindred Delusions," Equality, I (1939), 20-24; "Should We 
Ignore Racial Differences?" Town Meeting, (1939), pp. 3-9; 
"The Socio-Biology of Man," the Scientific Monthly, L (1940), 
483-90; "Problems and Methods Relating to the Study of 
Race," Psychiatry, III (1941), 493-506; "Race, Caste and 
Scientific Method," Psychiatry, IV (1941), 337-38; "The Con- 
cept of Race in the Light of Genetics," the Journal of Hered- 
ity, XXXII (1941), 243-47; "The Genetical Theory of Race, 
and Anthropological Method," American Anthropologist, 
XLIV (1942), 369-75. All these articles have been thoroughly 
rewritten and revised. To the editors and proprietors of the 
journals in which they originally appeared I am grateful for 
permission to make use of them in the writing of the present 

Professors Franz Boas and Ruth Benedict of the Depart- 
ment of Anthropology, Otto Klineberg of the Department of 
Psychology, Robert K. Merton of the Department of Sociol- 
ogy, all of Columbia University, Professor E. G. Conklin of 
Princeton, and Professor Conway Zirkle of the Department 
of Botany, University of Pennsylvania, have read the follow- 
ing pages in manuscript and have made many suggestions 
for its improvement. For this service I am deeply grateful to 
each of them, as I am to Mr. Aldous Huxley for his excellent 


Foreword, which was originally written for a briefer version 
of this book. For all errors of commission and omission and 
for all the views expressed in this volume, unless specifically 
credited to others, I alone am responsible. 


Department of Anatomy 

Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

9 June 1942 


THE RESPONSE to the first edition of this book has been 
very gratifying, calling for reprinting within a year and 
a new edition within two years of its publication. In 
these disjointed times the book apparently fills a need. As 
most of the reviewers perceived, it does not proceed along 
conventional lines, and I suppose it owes some measure of 
its success to its unconventional character. It is said, by way 
of improvement on the original, that the way to hell is "paved 
with good conventions"; possibly the way to salvation lies 
over the broken fragments of those conventions. Those who 
have experienced some difficulty in negotiating the new way 
have been very few indeed. The new road over the fragments 
of the old seems a sturdy enough structure. 

Since this book first left the press the world has been hor- 
rified by the calculated murder of millions of Jews and Poles 
by the Nazis. This represents the practical realization of the 
doctrine of "racism" which has been so viciously enthroned 
as a political doctrine in the Nazi Weltanschauung. That 
doctrine, from beginning to end, is an absurdity; but absurdi- 
ties have never wanted for believers, and, as Voltaire re- 
marked, "as long as pople believe in absurdities they will 
continue to commit atrocities." 

We, in the United States, have every hope of eradicating 
the contagion of "racism" from our own body politic; but 
hope alone will not suffice. We must act, and in order to do so 
intelligently we must know what this disease is and how it 
may best be dealt with. At a time when "race" riots have 
awakened many Americans to the seriousness of the problem 
of "race" on their very own hearths, when discrimination 
against colored and minority groups in the armed forces and 
in industry has shocked many Americans into an awareness 


of their own guilt, it is incumbent upon every decent Amer- 
ican to acquaint himself with the facts relating to the "race" 
problem, so that he may be prepared to deal with it in an 
intelligent, efficient, and humane manner. 

It is even yet not widely enough realized that from its 
earliest beginnings the doctrine of the racists has had as its 
object the overthrow of democracy. This should become clear 
to anyone who reads the account which is given in the fol- 
lowing pages of the rise and development of that doctrine. 

As The New Republic (14 August 1944) put it in com- 
menting on the Philadelphia rapid-transit strike, "although 
good work is being done here and there on a limited and 
local scale to promote interracial understanding, the problem 
as a whole is rushing to a major climax. Unless we can master 
it it will continue to offer the greatest threat to our democ- 

I have tried to make the present edition of the book very 
much more helpful in a practical way than was the first edi- 
tion, and I trust I have satisfied Mr. Aldous Huxley's hope 
that I discuss the remedies for the social disease of racism. 

In the present edition the text has been thoroughly revised, 
and much new material has been added. Four new chapters 
and three new appendixes have been added. These are, "Race 
and Blood," "Myths Relating to the Physical Characters of 
the American Negro/' "Are the Jews a Race?" "What Is the 
Solution?" and Appendices A, B, and D. The four new chap- 
ters have already appeared elsewhere. For permission to repro- 
duce them here in revised form I am grateful to the editors 
of the journals in which they were first published. "The Myth 
of Blood," Psychiatry, VI (1943), 15-19; "The Physical An- 
thropology of the American Negro," Psychiatry, VII (1944), 
31-44; "Are the Jews a Race?" The Chicago Jewish Forum, 
II (1944), 77-86; "What Is the Solution?" Educational Ad- 
ministration and Supervision, XXX (1944), 424-30. 

In order to meet the requirements of those who may wish 
to pursue various aspects of the subject farther, I have consid- 
erably increased the number of references to the literature. In 


this connection I have been at particular pains to bring to 
the reader's attention many excellent studies which are not 
usually mentioned in works of this kind. 

The second edition of this work has greatly benefited from 
the critical reading which it received in manuscript from my 
friends Professor Theodosius Dobzhansky, of the Department 
of Zoology, Columbia University, and Professor and Mrs. 
William Boyd, of the Department of Biochemistry, Boston 
University. My grateful thanks are due to each of them. To 
Professor A. A. Neuman, principal of Dropsie College, Phila- 
delphia, I owe many thanks for his very helpful reading of 
Chapter 13. To my daughter Audrey Montagu my thanks 
are due for her very efficient reading to me of part of the 
manuscript while I typed it. I am much indebted to my wife 
for reading the galleys. 

Department of Anatomy 
Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 














11. "RACE" AND WAR 156 

12. "RACE" AND "BLOOD" 180 



14. ARE THE JEWS A "RACE"? 218 









INDEX 291 



THE IDEA OF "RACE" represents one of the greatest errors, 
if not the greatest error, of our time, and the most 
tragic. What "race" is everyone seems to know, and is 
only too eager to tell. All but a very few individuals take it 
completely for granted that scientists have established the 
"facts" about "race" and that they have long ago recognized 
and classified the "races" of mankind. Scientists do little to 
discourage this view, and, indeed, many of them are quite as 
deluded as most laymen are about the subject. It is not diffi- 
cult to see, therefore, why most of us continue to believe that 
"race" really corresponds to something which exists. As Hog- 
ben has remarked: "Geneticists believe that anthropologists 
have decided what a race is. Ethnologists assume that their 
classifications embody principles which genetic science has 
proved correct. Politicians believe that their prejudices have 
the sanction of genetic laws and the findings of physical anthro- 
pology to sustain them." l Actually, none of them have any 
grounds, but those which spring from their prejudices, for 
such beliefs. 

Lord Bryce has very cogently remarked: "No branches of 
historical inquiry have suffered more from fanciful specula- 
tion than those which relate to the origin and attributes of the 
races of mankind. The differentiation of these races began in 
prehistoric darkness, and the more obscure a subject is, so 
much the more fascinating. Hypotheses are tempting, because 
though it may be impossible to verify them, it is, in the paucity 
of data, almost equally impossible to refute them." 2 

Certainly it is true that many scientists have attempted to 

* Hogben, "The Concept of Race," in Genetic Principles in Medicine and 
Social Science f pp. 122-44. 

2 Bryce, Race Sentiment as a Factor in History, p. 3. 


classify and fit the varieties of mankind into definite groups, 
the so-called "races," but all such attempts have thus far met 
with complete failure, because they were too arbitrary and 
were based upon a misconception of the nature and variability 
of the characters to be classified. It is easy to see that an African 
Negro and a white Englishman must have had a somewhat 
different biological history and that their obvious physical dif- 
ferences would justify the biologist in classifying them as be- 
longing to two different races. In biology a race is defined as 
a subdivision of a species which inherits physical character- 
istics distinguishing it from other populations of the species. 
In this sense there are a number of human races. But this is 
not the sense in which most of the older and many of the mod- 
ern physical anthropologists, race classifiers, and racists have 
used the term. 

In the biological sense there do, of course, exist races of 
mankind. That is to say, mankind may be regarded as being 
comprised of a small number of groups which as such are often 
physically sufficiently distinguishable from one another to jus- 
tify their being classified as separate races. But not all groups 
of mankind can be so classified. For example, Germans, taken 
as a whole, do not differ sufficiently from Englishmen or any 
other people of Western Europe to justify their separation 
into a distinct race or variety. All the peoples of Western 
Europe belong to the same race, the White race, and the dif- 
ferences some of them exhibit simply represent small local 
differences arising from either circumscribed inbreeding or 
crossbreeding with members of a different racial group. In 
Eastern Europe, among the Russians, the influence of Mon- 
goloid admixture is to this day discernible in a small propor- 
tion of Russians far removed from the geographic habitat of 
the Mongoloids. But this admixture does not make such Rus- 
sians members of a distinct race. In Russia, as in America, 
there are many different local types of men, but the majority of 
these belong to the white division of mankind. In Russia some 
are obviously of Mongoloid origin, and in America some are 


of Negroid origin, but in both countries it is often difficult 
so say whether a person belongs to the one racial group or the 
other. It is just such difficulties as these which render it impos- 
sible to make the sort of racial classifications which some 
anthropologists and others have attempted. 3 The fact is that 
all human beings are so much mixed with regard to origin 
that between different groups of individuals intergradation 
and "overlapping" of physical characters is the rule. It is for 
this reason that it is difficult to draw up more than a very few 
hard and fast distinctions between even the most extreme 
types. As Huxley and Haddon have remarked, "The essential 
reality of the existing situation ... is not the hypothetical 
sub-species or races, but the mixed ethnic groups, which can 
never be genetically purified into their original components, 
or purged of the variability which they owe to past crossing. 
Most anthropological writings of the past and many of the 
present fail to take account of this fundamental fact." * 

The classifiers of the "races" of mankind who have devised 
the various classificatory schemes of mankind during the last 
hundred years have mostly agreed in one respect they have 
unexceptionally taken for granted the one thing which they 
were attempting to prove, namely, the existence of human 
"races." Starting off with the fact that "extreme" types of man- 
kind, such as Negro, white, and Mongol, could obviously be 
recognized as races, they proceeded to refine these grosser 
classifications by attempting to fit local groups of mankind 
into similar racial schemes. Thus, to take a contemporary ex- 
ample, Coon has recently created a large number of new 
European "races" and "sub-races" upon the basis, principally, 
of slight differences in the characters of the head exhibited by 
different groups of Europeans, and this in spite of the fact 

For the latest anthropological example of this fractionating method see 
Coon, The Races of Europe. 

4 Huxley and Haddon, We Europeans, p. 114. In order to avoid possible 
misunderstanding of this passage, it is desirable to point out that by the 
words "genetically purified into their original components" the authors do not 
have reference to preexisting "pure races/' but to the earlier states of their 
ancestral groups. 


that it has been repeatedly shown that the form of the head 
is not as constant a character as was formerly believed. 5 It is 
true that some biologists have seen fit to create new sub-races 
among lower animals on the basis of such single slight char- 
acters as difference in pigmentation of the hair on a part of 
the tail. Such a procedure would be perfectly justifiable if it 
were taxonomically helpful. One would not even have to make 
the requirement that animals in other groups shall not ex- 
hibit this character, but one would have to insist that every 
member of one or both sexes of the new subrace shall exhibit 
it. No such requirement is fulfilled by the "races" and "sub- 
races" which Coon has created. 

Coon simply assumes that within any group a certain nu- 
merical preponderance of heads of specified diameters and, 
let us say, noses of a certain shape and individuals of a certain 
stature are sufficient to justify the creation of a new "race" or 
"sub-race." Few biologists would consider such a procedure 
justifiable, and there are few anthropologists who would. Yet 
this kind of overzealous taxonomy, which has its origin prin- 
cipally in the desire to force facts to fit preexisting theories, 
continues down to the present day. More often than not such 
theories do not even require the sanction of facts to be put 
forward as such. Thus, the term "race" and the concept 
for which it stands represent one of the worst examples we 
know of a word which from the outset begs the whole ques- 

The very failure of ambitious anthropological attempts at 
classification strongly suggests that human races do not, in 
fact, exist in anything like the number that many of these 
classifiers would have us believe. 

From the standpoint of a classificatory view of mankind 
which has due regard for the facts it is possible to recognize 
four distinctive stocks or divisions of mankind. These are the 

Boas, Changes in Bodily Form of Descendants of Immigrants; Shapiro, 
Migration and Environment; Dornfeldt, "Studien fiber Schadelform und 
Scha'delveranderung von Berliner Ostjuden und ihren Kindern," Zeit. f. Morph. 
. Anthrop., XXXIX (1941), 290-372; Goldstein, Demographic and Bodily 
Changes in Descendants of Mexican Immigrants. 


Negroid or black, the Archaic white or Australoid, 6 the Cau- 
casoid or white, and the Mongoloid stocks or divisions of man- 
kind. It is preferable to speak of these four large groups of 
mankind as divisions rather than as races, and to speak of the 
varieties of men which enter into the formation of these divi- 
sions as ethnic groups. 7 The use of the term "division" em- 
phasizes the fact that we are dealing with a major group of 
mankind sufficiently distinguishable in its physical characters 
from the three other major groups of mankind to be classified 
separately. Nothing more is implied in the term than that. 

Within the four divisions of mankind there exist many 
local types, but most of these local types are very much mixed, 
so that only in a relatively small number of cases is it possible 
to distinguish distinctive local types or ethnic groups among 
them. Every honest attempt to discuss such types or ethnic 
groups within the larger parent groups or divisions deserves 
the fullest encouragement. Truth will not be advanced by 
denying the existence of large groups of mankind character- 
ized, more or less, by distinctive inherited physical traits. Such 
physical differences are found in geographical and genetic 
races of animals and plants in a state of nature, and in many 
races of domestic animals and cultivated plants. They are, to 
a certain extent, also found in the human species, but in a 
much more fluid condition, since the biological development 
and diversification of mankind has proceeded upon very dif- 
ferent lines from that which has characterized animals and 
plants. No animal or plant has had a comparable history of 
migration and hybridization, and that is the fundamentally 
important fact to be remembered when comparisons are made 
between man and other living forms. Not one of the great 
divisions of man is unmixed, nor is any one of its ethnic 
groups pure; all are, indeed, much mixed and of exceedingly 
complex descent. Nor is there any scientific justification for 

a The Archaic white or Australoid stock is really a subdivision, larger than 
an ethnic group, of the Caucasoid division. For a more detailed discussion and 
classification of the divisions and ethnic groups of mankind see Montagu, 
An Introduction to Physical Anthropology. 

i For a definition of ethnic group see p. 43. 


overzealous or emotional claims that any one of them is in any 
way superior to another. 

The differences between the four great divisions of man 
and between the ethnic groups comprising them represent 
merely a distribution of variations which, for reasons which 
may be fairly clearly understood, occur more frequently in 
one group than they do in another. We shall deal with these 
reasons later. 

It has already been pointed out that in biological usage a 
race is conceived to be a subdivision of a species which inher- 
its the physical characteristics serving to distinguish it from 
other populations of the species. In the genetic sense a race 
may be defined as a population which differs in the incidence 
of certain genes from other populations, with one or more of 
which it is exchanging or is potentially capable of exchanging 
genes across whatever boundaries (usually geographical) may 
separate them. 8 If we are asked whether in this sense there 
exist a fair number of races in the human species, the answer 
is very definitely that there do. But this is not the sense in 
which the racists and many of the race classifiers employ the 
term. For them "race" represents a compound of physical, 
mental, personality, and cultural traits which determines the 
behavior of the individuals inheriting this alleged compound. 

Let us see, as an example typical of this school, what a lead- 
ing exponent of Nazi "race science," Dr. Lothar G. Tirala, 
has to say upon this subject. 9 He begins by asserting that it is 
"a well-grounded view that it is highly probable that different 
human races originated independently of one another and 
that they evolved out of different species of ape-men. The 
so-called main races of mankind are not races, but species/' 

Far from being "well-grounded," this is a view which no 
biologist and no anthropologist with whom I am familiar 
would accept. It is today generally agreed that all men belong 
to the same species, that all were probably derived from the 
same ancestral stock, and that all share in a common patrimony. 

sDobzhansky, "On Species and Races of Living and Fossil Man," Amer. J. 
Phys. Anthrop., N.S., II (1944), 251-65. 
Tirala, Rasse, Geist und Seele. 


But Dr. Tirala's principle argument is that "the voice of 
blood and race operates down to the last refinements of 
thought and exercises a decisive influence on the direction of 
thought/' Hence, "race science proves" that there exist irrec- 
oncilable differences in soul, mind, and blood between the 
numerous "races" which German "race scientists" have recog- 
nized. And, of course, that the German, or "Aryan," "race" is 
the "superior" and "master" "race." 10 

Such views and the practices to which they lead are far from 
being limited to the Germans. Actually they are to be found 
in many lands. In America discrimination against colored 
peoples is of long standing. 11 Modern writers such as Lothrop 
Stoddard, Madison Grant, and Henry Fairfield Osborn have 
freely espoused racist views of the most reactionary kind. 
Osborn, in his preface to Madison Grant's book, writes, "race 
has played a far larger part than either language or nationality 
in moulding the destinies of men; race implies heredity, and 
heredity implies all the moral, social, and intellectual char- 
acteristics and traits which are the springs of politics and gov- 
ernment." 12 

Endlessly shuffled and reshuffled, this is a typical statement of 
the racist position. It is alleged that something called "race" 
is the prime determiner of all the important traits of body and 
soul, of character and personality, of human beings and na- 
tions. And it is further alleged that this something called 

10 For an interesting account of the Nazi application of the "methods" of 
"race science" in which the writer himself repeats many of the favored Nazi 
doctrines, see T. U. H. Ellinger, "On the Breeding of Aryans," Journal of 
Heredity, XXXIII (1942), 141-43. For replies to this article see Goldschmidt, 
"Anthropological Determination of 'Aryanism,' " Journal of Heredity, XXXIII 
(1942), 215-16, and Montagu, "On the Breeding of 'Aryans,' " Psychiatry, VI 
(i943) 254-55. 

11 See Appendix C, p. 262. In at least one state of the Union a book such 
as this is against the law. Mississippi, 1930 Code Ann., sec. 1103: "Any person, 
firm or corporation who shall be guilty of printing, publishing or circulating 
printed, typewritten or written matter urging or presenting for public accept- 
ance or general information, arguments or suggestions in favor of social equal- 
ity or of intermarriage between whites and negroes, shall be guilty of a 
misdemeanour and subject to a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars or 
imprisonment not exceeding six months or both fine and imprisonment in 
the discretion of the court." 

12 Osborn, in Grant, The Passing of the Great Race, p. vii. 


"race" is a fixed and unchangeable part of the germ plasm, 
which, transmitted from generation to generation, unfolds in 
each people as a typical expression of personality and cul- 

Such a conception of "race" has no basis in scientific fact or 
in any other kind of demonstrable fact. It is a pure myth, and 
it is the tragic myth of our tragic era. Tragic, because it is 
believed and made the basis for action, in one way or another, 
by so many people in our time. It is this conception of "race" 
which will be principally examined in the following pages. 

The modern conception of "race" is of fairly recent origin. 
Neither in the ancient world nor in the world up to the latter 
part of the eighteenth century did there exist .any notion cor- 
responding to it. Caste and class differences certainly were 
made the basis for discrimination in many societies, and in 
ancient Greece some attempt was even made to find a biologi- 
cal foundation for such discrimination, but this was of a very 
limited nature and never gained general acceptance. 13 

A study of the cultures and literatures of mankind, both 
ancient and recent, shows us that the conception that there 
are natural or biological races of mankind which differ from 
one another mentally as well as physically is an idea which was 
not born until the latter part of the eighteenth century. In 
this connection, Lord Bryce, after surveying conditions in 
the ancient world, in the Middle Ages, and in modern times 
up to the French Revolution, arrives at the following conclu- 
sions, which he regards as broadly true. The survey of the 
facts, he says, "has shown us that down till the days of the 
French Revolution there had been very little in any country, 
or at any time of self-conscious racial feeling . . . however 
much men of different races may have striven with one an- 
other, it was seldom any sense of racial opposition that caused 
their strife. They fought for land. They plundered one an- 
other. . . . But strong as patriotism and national feeling 

is Diller, Race Mixture among the Greeks Before Alexander; Hertz, Race 
and Civilization, pp. 137 ff.; Nilsson, "The Race Problem of the Roman Em- 
pire," Hereditas, 11 (1921), 370-90; Detweiler, "The Rise of Modern Race 
Antagonisms/' 4merican Journal of Sociology, XXXV11I (1932), 738-47. 


might be, they did not think of themselves in terms of eth- 
nology, and in making war for every other sort of reason never 
made it for the sake of imposing their own type of civilization. 
. . , In none of such cases did the thought of racial distinc- 
tions come to the front." 14 

Within any society men might be persecuted or made the 
object of discrimination on the grounds of differences in re- 
ligion, culture, politics, or class, but never on any biological 
grounds such as are implied in the idea of "racial" differences. 

In Europe during the Middle Ages and also during the 
Renaissance the Jews, for example, were singled out for dis- 
crimination and persecution, but this was always done on so- 
cial or cultural or religious grounds. The Jews, it was urged, 
had killed Christ; they were accused of murdering Christian 
children and using their blood for ritual purposes; they were 
infidels, anti-Christians, usurers; they were almost everything 
under the sun; but whatever was held against them was never 
attributed to biological reasons. The "racial" interpretation 
is a modern "discovery"; that is the important point to grasp. 
The objection to any people on "racial" or biological grounds 
is a purely modern innovation. That is the basic sense in 
which modern group antagonism differs from that which pre- 
vailed in earlier periods. 

It is perfectly true that in ancient Rome, as in ancient 
Greece, the suggestion was sometimes heard that other peoples 
were more stupid than they and that occasionally an attempt 
was made to link this up with biological factors; but this idea, 
at no time clearly or forcibly expressed, seems, as we have 
already said, never to have taken root. On the other hand, in 
a stratified society based upon slavery, in which birth was 
definitely related to social status, it can easily be seen how 
the notion of the biological character of social classes, as of 
the individuals comprising them, could have originated. Yet 
anything remotely resembling such an idea was held by no 
more than a handful of Greek and Roman thinkers, and never 
for a moment extended beyond the boundaries of their own 

14 Bryce, op. cit., pp. 25-26. 


esoteric circles. It was only among peoples who had themselves 
for centuries been emancipated from serfdom and slavery 
that the hereditary or biological conception of race differences 
was developed. What is of the greatest interest and impor- 
tance for an understanding of this matter is that the concept 
developed as a direct result of the trade in slaves by European 
merchants. But what is of even greater interest and impor- 
tance is that as long as the trade was taken for granted and 
no one raised a voice against it, the slaves, though treated as 
chattels, were nonetheless conceded to be human in every 
sense but that of social status. This may well be seen in the 
treatment accorded to slaves in Portugal and Spain, where 
many of them rose to high positions in Church and State. 
Portugal, it should be remembered, initiated the African slave 
trade as early as the middle of the fifteenth century. A study of 
the documents of the English and American slave traders 
down to the eighteenth century also serves to show that these 
men held no other conception of their victims than that by 
virtue of their position as slaves, or potential slaves, they 
were socially their captors' caste inferiors. But that was not 
all, for many of these hard-headed, hard-bitten men recorded 
their belief that their victims were often quite clearly their 
own mental equals and superior to many at home. 15 

It was only when voices began to make themselves heard 
against the inhuman traffic in slaves and when these voices 
assumed the shape of influential men and organizations that, 
on the defensive, the supporters of slavery were forced to look 
about them for reasons of a new kind to controvert the dan- 
gerous arguments of their opponents. The abolitionists argued 
that those who were enslaved were as good human beings as 
those who had enslaved them. To this, by way of reply, the 
champions of slavery could only attempt to show that the 
slaves were most certainly not as good as their masters. And in 
this highly charged emotional atmosphere there began the 

i&Donnan, Documents Illustrative of the History of the Slave Trade to 


recitation of the catalogue of differences which were alleged 
to prove the inferiority of the slave to his master. 10 

I have thus far only had in mind the literature published in 
England during the latter half of the eighteenth century. 
Much of this literature found its way to the American colo- 
nies, and after the successful conclusion of the War of Inde- 
pendence a certain amount of controversial literature was 
published in this country. In France and in Holland similar 
works were making their appearance. It is also well to remem- 
ber that it was during this period that the conception of the 
noble savage was born in France and that the romantics were 
not slow to capitalize upon the new-found theme in such nov- 
els as Bernardin de Saint-Pierre's Paul et Virginie (lySS). 17 In 
Germany, during this period, we have such distinguished think- 
ers as Kant, Hardenberg, Herder, Goethe, and Novalis, not 
to mention many others, emphasizing the unity of mankind. 
Herder, in particular, foresaw the danger of those loose and 
prejudiced utterances of the defenders of the institution of 
slavery, and in a memorable passage of his great book Ideen 
zur Philosophic der Geschichte der Menschheit, one of the 
most beautiful expressions of the human spirit ever composed, 
he writes: "I could wish the distinctions between the human 
species, that have been made from a laudable zeal for dis- 
criminating science, not carried beyond due bounds. Some 
for instance have thought fit to employ the term races for 
four or five divisions, originally made in consequence of coun- 
try or complexion: but I see no reason for this appella- 
tion. Race refers to a difference of origin, which in this case 
does not exist, or in each of these countries, and under each of 
these complexions, comprises the most different races. . . . 
In short, there are neither four or five races, nor exclusive 

16 So far as I know, an historical study of this aspect of the subject has 
never been attempted. It would make a fascinating and highly desirable con- 
tribution to our better understanding of the period and of the antecedents 
of racism. 

if For an account of the rise and development of the convention of the 
noble savage in French and, particularly, in English literature see Fairchild, 
The Noble Savage; see also Dykes, The Negro in English Romantic Thought. 


varieties, on this Earth. Complexions run into each other: 
forms follow the genetic character: and upon the whole, all 
are at last but shades of the same great picture, extending 
through all ages, and over all parts of the Earth. They belong 
not, therefore, so properly to systematic natural history, as to 
the physico-geographical history of man." 

This was written in 1784, and I have quoted from the Eng- 
lish translation of i8o3. 18 That Herder was able to write so 
clearly and sensibly was principally due to the fact that a 
young countryman of his had, in 1775, at the age of 23, pub- 
lished a work entitled De generis humani varietate, that is to 
say, On the Natural Variety of Mankind. In this work the 
author, Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, set out to classify the 
varieties of mankind and to show what significance was to be 
attached to the differences, physical and mental, which were 
supposed to exist between them. He warned at the outset that 
no sharp distinctions could be made between peoples. Thus, 
he writes: "Although there seems to be a great difference be- 
tween widely separate nations, that you might easily take the 
inhabitants of the Cape of Good Hope, the Greenlanders, and 
the Circassians for so many different species of men, yet when 
the matter is thoroughly considered, you see that all do so 
run into one another, and that one variety of mankind does so 
sensibly pass into the other, that you cannot mark out the lim- 
its between them. 

"Very arbitrary indeed both in number and definition have 
been the varieties of mankind accepted by eminent men." 19 

In the greatly enlarged and revised third edition of this 
work, published in 1795, Blumenbach concluded that "no 
variety of mankind exists, whether of colour, countenance, or 
stature, etc., so singular as not to be connected with others of 
the same kind by such an imperceptible transition, that it is 

is Herder, Outlines of a Philosophy of the History of Man; translated by 
T. Churchill, 1, 298. 

i Blumenbach, On the Natural Variety of Mankind, trans, and ed. by 
Thomas Bendyshe, in The Anthropological Treatises of Johann Friedrich 
Blumenbach, pp. 99 ff. 


very clear they are all related, or only differ from each other 
in degree." 

Not only did Blumenbach make clear the essential unity of 
mankind, but he also clearly recognized and unequivocally 
stated the fact that all classifications of the so-called "varieties" 
of mankind are arbitrary. "Still/ 1 he remarked, "it will be 
found serviceable to the memory to have constituted certain 
classes into which the men of our planet may be divided/' 20 

The history of physical anthropology, after the death of 
Blumenbach in 1840, may be described in terms of the grad- 
ual inversion of this genetic approach to the problem of the 
variety of mankind. The investigation of causes steadily gave 
way to the description of effects, as if the classification of man- 
kind into as distinctive groups as it was possible to create were 
the proper function of a science of physical anthropology. 
The Darwinian conception of evolution understood as deal- 
ing with continuous materials which, without selection, would 
remain unchanged, led anthropologists to believe that tax- 
onomic exercises in the classification of mankind, both living 
and extinct, would eventually succeed in elucidating the re- 
lationships of the various groups of mankind to one another. 
We now know, however, that the materials of evolution are 
not continuous, but discontinuous, and that these materials 
are paniculate, independent genes, which are inherently vari- 
able and unstable. Thus, classifications based on the shifting 
sands of morphological characters and physique can be ex- 
tremely misleading. 21 How misleading may be gathered from 
the fact that in nature there actually exist many groups of 
individuals in different phyla which are distinct species in 
every sense but the morphological sense. 22 The converse is also 

20 Ibid. 

21 For a brilliant discussion of this subject see Hogben, "The Concept of 
Race," in his Genetic Principles in Medicine and Social Science, pp. 122-44. 

22 Thorpe, "Biological Races in Hyponemeuta padella L.," Journal of the 
Linnaean Society (Zoology), XXXVI (1928), 621; Thorpe, "Biological Races in 
Insects and Allied Groups," Biological Reviews, V (1930), 177; "Ecology and 
the Future of Systematics," in The New Systematics (edited by Julian Huxley), 
p. 358. Dobzhansky and Epling, Contributions to the Genetics, Taxonomy, and 
Ecology oi Drosophtla pseudoobscura and Its Relatives. 


true that is, individuals of the same species may exhibit 
morphological differences which the taxonomist would be 
led to assign to different specific rank. Such classificatory ef- 
forts belong to the pre-Mendelian era. Then, as now, the con- 
cept of the continuity of species and the existence of transi- 
tional forms was associated with a belief in missing links. The 
anthropologist conceived his task to be to discover these links 
so that when they were all joined together we should have a 
complete Great Chain of Being leading from the most "prim- 
itive" to the most "advanced" form of man. 23 In this manner 
was established a "racial" anthropology which sought to iden- 
tify some of these links among existing peoples upon the basis 
of the physical differences which averaged groups of them ex- 
hibited. As Linton has remarked, "unfortunately, the early 
guesses on these points became dogmas which still have a 
strong influence on the thought of many workers in this 
field." 24 

It may be noted here that at the beginning of the nine- 
teenth century Cuvier had clearly forseen the danger of such 
arbitrary procedures, and in the preface to his Le Regne ani- 
mal (Paris, 1817) he explained: "It formed no part of my 
design to arrange the animated tribes according to gradations 
of relative superiority, nor do I conceive such a plan to be 
practical. I do not believe that the mammalia and the birds 
placed last are the most imperfect of their class; still less do I 
think that the last of the mammiferous tribes are superior to 
the foremost of the feathered race or that the last of the mol- 
lusca are more perfect than the first of the annelides or zoo- 
phytes. I do not believe this to be, even if we understand the 
vague term perfect in the sense of 'most completely organized.' 
I have considered my divisions only as a scale of resemblance 
between the individuals classed under them. It is impossible 
to deny that a kind of step downward from one species to an- 
other may occasionally be observed. But this is far from being 

23 For a critical discussion of such terms as "advanced" and "primitive" see 
Montagu, "Some Anthropological Terms: A Study in the Systematic^ of Confu- 
sion," American Anthropologist, XL VII (1945), 119-33. 

** Linton, The Study of Man, p. 22. 


general, and the pretended scale of life, founded on the 
erroneous application of some partial remarks, to the im- 
mensity of organized nature, has proved essentially detri- 
mental to the progress of natural history in modern times." 28 

Throughout Blumenbach's great work and the several edi- 
tions which followed it the author carefully examined and 
rebutted, point by point, many of the arguments which had 
been brought forward to prove the inequality of the varieties 
of man and most convincingly showed that there was no good 
reason to believe anything other than that they were essen- 
tially equal. Thus, the treatise which is properly regarded 
as having laid the foundations of the science of physical 
anthropology stood four square for the essential relative men- 
tal and physical equality of man. The writings which such 
works inspired were many and important. 

For example, Blumenbach's pupil Alexander von Hum- 
boldt writes: "Whilst we maintain the unity of the human 
species, we at the same time repel the depressing assumption 
of superior and inferior races of men. There are nations more 
susceptible of cultivation, more highly civilized, more en- 
nobled by mental cultivation than others but none in them- 
selves nobler than others. All are in like degree designed for 
freedom; a freedom which in the ruder conditions of society 
belongs only to the individual, but which in social states en- 
joying political institutions appertains as a right to the whole 
body of the community/' And then Alexander quotes his 
brother Wilhelm, who writes: "If we would indicate an idea 
which throughout the whole course of history has ever more 
and more widely extended its empire or which more than 
any other, testifies to the much contested and still more decid- 
edly misunderstood perfectibility of the whole human race 
it is that of establishing our common humanity of striving 
to remove the barriers which prejudice and limited views of 
every kind have erected amongst men, and to treat all man- 
kind without reference to religion, nation, or colour, as one 
fraternity, one great community, fitted for the attainment of 

25 Cuvier, Le Regne animal, I, iv-vi. 


one object, the unrestrained development of the psychical 
powers. This is the ultimate and highest aim of society, identi- 
cal with the direction implanted by nature in the mind of man 
towards the indefinite extension of his existence. He regards 
the earth in all its limits, and the heavens as far as his eye can 
scan their bright and starry depths, as inwardly his own, given 
to him as the objects of his contemplation, and as a field for 
the development of his energies . . . the recognition of the 
bond of humanity becomes one of the noblest leading princi- 
ples in the history of mankind." 26 Such writings and the 
humanitarian efforts of the abolitionists eventually told upon 
public opinion, and in 1808 Britain forever abolished the 
slave trade, while America soon followed suit. But slavery sur- 
vived as an institution in the United States for almost sixty 
years more, and during that period the issue which it pre- 
sented kept the subject of "race" differences always at white- 
hot temperature. 

But to return to the beginning. When we examine the 
scientific literature of the seventeenth century with a view to 
discovering what beliefs were held concerning the variety of 
man, we find that it was universally believed that mankind 
was comprised of a single species and that it represented a 
unitary whole. With one or two heretical exceptions it was 
the accepted belief that all the children of mankind were 
one and that all had a common ancestry in Adam and Eve. 
Physical differences were, of course, known to exist between 
groups of mankind, but what was unfamiliar was the notion 
that the differences exhibited by such peoples represented 
anything fundamental. Such differences, it was believed, 
could all be explained as due to the action of differing 
climatic and similar physiographic factors. Mankind was 
essentially one. Questions concerning the variety of man- 
kind occurred to very few thinkers during the seventeenth 
century, not because the known varieties of man were so few 
that they suggested no problem requiring solution, but prin- 

2 Alexander von Humboldt, Cosmos, pp. 368-69; Wilhelui von Humboldt, 
tyber die Kawi-Sprache auf der Insel Java, III, 426. 


cipally, it would seem, because the conception of the "superi- 
ority" or "inferiority*' of "races'* which followed upon the 
increasing exploitation of other peoples had not yet devel- 
oped to the point of creating a "race problem" and of thus 
focussing attention upon the significance of the variety pre- 
sented by mankind. It was not until the economic relations of 
Europe and the peoples of other remote countries had given 
rise to the necessity of defining their place in nature that 
attempts were made to deal with this problem, and such at- 
tempts naturally first appeared toward the end of the eight- 
eenth century. It was only then that the poet could write: 

Let observation with extensive view 
Survey mankind from China to Peru. 

Today "racism" has become an important ideological weapon 
of imperialistic politics. 27 

During the whole of the seventeenth century only five dis- 
cussions relating to the varieties of mankind were published, 
and toward the end of the century Leibnitz, the great mathe- 
matician, summed up the prevailing view as to the nature of 
the peoples of the earth when he wrote: "I recollect reading 
somewhere, though I cannot find the passage, that a certain 
traveler had divided man into certain tribes, races, or classes. 
He made one special race of the Lapps and Samoyedes, an- 
other of the Chinese and their neighbors, another of the Caf- 
fres, or Hottentots. In America, again, there is a marvelous dif- 
ference between the Galibs, or Caribs, who are very brave and 
spirited, and those of Paraguay, who seem to be infants or in 
pupilage all their lives. That, however, is no reason why all 
men who inhabit the earth should not be of the same race, 

27 For a valuable discussion of this matter see Arendt, "Race Thinking 
before Racism," The Review of Politics, VI (1944), 36-73. "It is highly probable 
that thinking in terms of race would have disappeared in due time together 
with other irresponsible opinions of the nineteenth century, if the 'scramble 
for Africa' and the new era of Imperialism had not exposed Western humanity 
to new and shocking experiences. Imperialism would have necessitated the 
invention of racism as the only possible 'explanation' and excuse for its deeds, 
even if no race-thinking ever had existed in the civilized world," p. 73. See 
also "Racism and Imperialism," in Hofstadter's Social Darwinism in American 
Thought, 1860-1915. 


which has been altered by different climates, as we see that 
beasts and plants change their nature and improve or de- 
generate/' 28 

The work which Leibnitz had in mind was a very brief 
anonymous essay published in the Journal des Sgavans, 24 
April 1684, but it remained almost completely unnoticed. 29 
"Race" was definitely not yet in the air. It was not until 1749 
that Buffon introduced the word "race," in its zoological 
sense, into the scientific literature. 30 It is very commonly stated 
that Buffon classified mankind into six races. Buffon, who 
was the enemy of all rigid classifications, did nothing of the 
sort. 81 What he did was to describe all the varieties of man 
known to him in a purely descriptive manner. This is how he 
begins: "In Lapland, and on the northern coasts of Tartary, 
we find a race of men of an uncouth figure, and small stature." 
And this is the type of Buffon's description. Here the word 
"race" is used for the first time in a scientific context, and it 
is quite clear, after reading Buffon, that he uses the word in 
no narrowly defined, but rather in a general, sense. 32 Since 
Buffon's works were very widely read and were translated into 
many European languages, he must be held at least partially 
responsible for the diffusion of the idea of a natural separa- 
tion of the "races" of man. With the voyages of discovery of 
Bougainville (1761-1766), of Wallis-Carteret (1766), of Cap- 
tain Cook (1768-1779), and many others in the eighteenth 

26 Leibnitz, Otiurn Hanoveriana; sive, Miscellanea, p. 37. 

29 [Bernier.] "Nouvelle division de la Terre, par les diffe>entes Especes ou 
races d'hommes qui 1'habitant, envoyee par un fameux Voyageur a Monsieur 
. . . pen prs en ces termes," Journal des Scavans, April 24, 1684, pp. 148-55. 

so Buffon, Histoire naturelle, generate et particuliere, Paris, 1749. Natural 
History, General and Particular, trans, by William Smellie, corrected by Wil- 
liam Wood, London, 1812, III, 302 ff. 

si Hrdlicka, for example, lists six varieties as purporting to be "Buffon's 
classification." "The Races of Man," in Scientific Aspects of the Race Prob- 
lem, p. 174. 

82 The word "race" had previously been used for the first time by Francois 
Tant in a book entitled Thresor de la langue francaise published in 1600. Tant 
derived the word from the Latin radix, a root, and stated that "it alludes to 
the extraction of a man, of a dog, of a horse; as one says of good or bad race/' 
See Paul Topinard, "De la notion de race en anthropologie," Revue d'Anthro- 
pologie, ad ser., II (1879), 590. 


century, there was opened up to the view of Europe many new 
varieties of mankind people hitherto undreamed of who 
thickly populated the islands of the South Seas, of Melanesia, 
and the Antipodes. Soon the inhabitants of the most distant 
parts of the world began to be described, pictured, and some 
of their skulls and handiwork were collected and put on 

Meanwhile, the African slave trade had increased to enor- 
mous proportions, and when for the first time the traffic was 
seriously opposed and challenged, the question of the status 
and relation of the varieties of man became the subject of 
heated debate. 

When the issue of slavery was at last settled in England, it 
was far from being so in France and Holland. It was not until 
1848 that the French emancipated their Negroes, and not 
until 1863 that the Dutch liberated their slaves. During all 
these years the monstrous "race" legend was continually be- 
ing reenforced by the advocates of slavery, so that when the 
matter was finally settled in favor of the freedom of the slaves, 
the "race" legend nonetheless persisted. It served to solace the 
hearts of the aggrieved supporters of slavery, while now, more 
than ever, they saw to it that the myths and legends which 
they had served to popularize should continue. 

The idea of "race" was not so much the deliberate creation 
of a caste seeking to defend its privileges against what was 
regarded as an inferior social caste as it was the strategic elab- 
oration of erroneous notions which had long been held by 
many slaveholders. In order to bolster up those rights, the 
superior caste did not have far to seek for reasons which would 
serve to justify its conduct. The illiteracy and spiritual be- 
nightedness of the slaves supplied plenty of material for elab- 
oration on the theme of their essential inferiority. Their dif- 
ferent physical appearance provided a convenient peg upon 
which to hang the argument that this represented the external 
sign of more profound ineradicable mental and moral inferi- 
orities. It was an easily grasped mode of reasoning, and in this 
way the obvious difference in their social status, in caste status, 


was equated with their obviously different physical appear- 
ance, which, in turn, was taken to indicate a fundamental 
biological difference. Thus was a culturally produced differ- 
ence in social status converted into a difference in biological 
status. What was once a social difference was now turned into 
a biological difference which would serve, it was hoped, to 
justify and maintain the social difference. 83 

This was a most attractive idea to many members of a so- 
ciety in which the classes were markedly stratified, and it was 
an idea which had a special appeal for those who were begin- 
ning to take an active interest in the scientific study and classi- 
fication of the "races" of mankind. 3 * For the term "race," 
taken over from Buffon with all the emotional connotations 
which had been added to it, had by now become established. 
It was with this tremendous handicap of a term in which the 

88 It is of interest to note here that in what is undoubtedly the best study 
of the problem of the Negro in America which has ever been made, the 
author's independent analysis of the historical facts has led him to practically 
identical conclusions. "The biological ideology had to be utilized as an in- 
tellectual explanation of, and a moral apology for, slavery in a society which 
went out emphatically to invoke as its highest principles the ideas of the 
inalienable rights of all men to freedom and equality of opportunity." Myrdal, 
An American Dilemma: the Negro Problem and Modern Democracy* I (1944), 
83-89, "The correct observation that the Negro is inferior was tied up to the 
correct belief that man belongs to the biological universe, and, by twisting 
logic, the incorrect deduction was made that the inferiority is biological in 
nature." Ibid., p. 97. 

a* We may refer, for example, to the case of the President of the Anthropo- 
logical Society of London, Dr. James Hunt. On 17 November 1863, Dr. Hunt 
read a paper before the society entitled "The Negro's Place in Nature," in 
which he asserted the essential inferiority in every way of the Negro to the 
white man. "The Negro's Place in Nature," Memoirs of the Anthropological 
Society (London), I (1863), 1-64. This paper was discussed at the meeting in 
a very dignified manner by everyone, but the egregious and insolent Dr. Hunt, 
who wound up his reply to his critics with the remark that "all he asked was 
that scientific evidence of this character should be met by scientific argument, 
and not by poetical clap-trap, or by gratuitous and worthless assumptions." 
The Anthropological Review (London), I (1863), 391. The paper was the 
immediate cause of many acrimonous debates, and it was, of course, received 
with much applause by the proslavery party. When, in 1869, Dr. Hunt died, 
a New York paper wrote that "Dr. Hunt, in his own clear knowledge and 
brave enthusiasm, was doing more for humanity, for the welfare of mankind, 
and for the glory of God, than all the philosophers, humanitarians, philan- 
thropists, statesmen, and, we may say, bishops and clergy of England together." 
This last quotation is taken by the present writer from Haddon's History of 
Anthropology, p. 45. 


very question it was attempted to ask had from the outset al- 
ready been begged that the anthropologists of the nineteenth 
century set out on their researches. The question they had 
begged was the one which required to be proved namely, 
that mental and moral differences were associated with "ra- 
cial" external physical differences. As Wundt once remarked 
in another connection, "in the seventeenth century God gave 
the laws of Nature; in the eighteenth century Nature did this 
herself; and in the nineteenth century individual scientists 
take care of that task/' 85 

As an independent student of the evidence has put it: 
"When between the years 1859 and 1870, anthropological 
societies were established successively in Paris, London, New 
York, Moscow, Florence, Berlin and Vienna, the attention of 
anthropologists was in the first place directed mainly to the 
statement and exploration of problems of racial divergence 
and distribution. The need for such a preliminary investi- 
gation was great. Popular opinion drew a rough but ready 
distinction between men of white, black, yellow and red 
colour, vaguely supposed to be native to the continents of 
Europe, Africa, Asia and America respectively. Differences of 
average stature, of physiognomy, of growth and texture of 
hair were recognized; certain combinations of these char- 
acters were supposed to be typical of certain ultimate stocks. 
There was the self-satisfied view, influenced by an uncriti- 
cal acceptance of the Biblical account of the Creation, Flood, 
dispersion of its survivors, selection of a favoured race, which 
either alone or [together] conspicuously expressed divine pur- 
pose, that divergence from European standard[s] should ulti- 
mately be explained in terms of degradation/* 8e 

It was not the scientific student of the varieties of man who 
influenced European thought along these lines, but an aris- 
tocrat of the Second Empire, an amateur orientalist and pro- 
fessional diplomat, Count Joseph Arthur de Gobineau. Gobi- 
neau was a reactionary litterateur who rejected the principles 

Wundt, Philosophische Schriften, Vol. Ill (1883). 
ae Foster, Travels and Settlements of Early Man, p. 31. 


of the French Revolution 8T and looked upon the egalitarian 
philosophy of the Revolution as the hopelessly confused ex- 
pression of a degraded rabble. If the founders of the First 
Republic had believed in the liberty, equality, and fraternity 
of mankind, this scion of the Second Republic would show 
that, on the contrary, a man was not bound to be free, that 
the idea of the brotherhood of man was a vain and empty 
dream, a repugnant dream which could never be realized 
because it was based upon a fallacious belief in the equality of 
man. 38 These views were fully set out by Gobineau in his four- 
volume work entitled Essai sur I'inegalite des races humaines 
(Paris, 1853-55). I* 1 ^56 an American translation of the first 
two volumes under the title Moral and Intellectual Diversity 
of Races was published at Philadelphia. This was the work 
of H. Hotz, the Alabama proslavery propagandist. As Finot 
has pointed out, Gobineau never attempted to conceal or 
dissimulate the motives which led him to write the Essai. For 
him "it was only a matter of bringing his contributions to the 
great struggle against equality and the emancipation of the 
proletariat. Imbued with aristocratic ideas ... he thought 
it useful to oppose to the democratic aspirations of his time a 
number of considerations on the existence of natural castes 
in humanity and their beneficial necessity/' 39 Ever since their 
publication Gobineau's works have enjoyed a great reputa- 
tion among reactionaries and demagogues of every kind, and 

87 For an account of Gobineau and a distillation of the essence of Gobineau- 
ism by an apostle both of Gobineau and Nietzsche, Dr. Oscar Levy, see 
Gobineau The Renaissance, trans, by Paul V. Cohn. The introductory essay 
of some sixty pages by Dr. Levy is an amazing thing. 

88 Observe how from the same motives, this reaction expresses itself in the 
recent work of one of the most confused of American racists, namely, in 
Madison Grant's The Passing of the Great Race. He writes: "There exists 
to-day a widespread and fatuous belief in the power of environment, as well 
as of education and opportunity, to alter heredity, which arises from the 
dogma of the brotherhood of man, derived in turn from the loose thinkers 
of the French Revolution and their American mimics. Such beliefs have done 
much damage in the past, and if allowed to go uncontradicted, may do much 
more serious damage in the future" (p. 14). It may be remarked here that the 
history of Europe during the last hundred and fifty years could well be 
written in terms of reaction to the principles of the French Revolution. This 
would be a theme well worth the attention of serious historians. 

8 Finot, Race Prejudice, p. 7. 


forty-five years later the views expressed in these works were 
taken over lock, stock, and barrel by Houston Stewart Cham- 
berlain and elaborated in his Grundlagen des neunzehnten 
Jahrhunderts** This work, which has been accurately de- 
scribed as "one of the most foolish books ever written," 41 en- 
joyed an enormous popularity in Germany. Kaiser Wilhelm II 
called it "my favorite book" and distributed it generously 
among the nobility and his friends. 

Both Gobineau's and Chamberlain's works may be regarded 
as the spiritual progenitors of Hitler's Mein Kampf. In this 
connection the words of John Oakesmith, written during the 
first World War, are of interest to those who, by the same 
forces which were operative then, have since been plunged into 
a far more horrible war. Oakesmith writes: "The essence of 
the racial theory, especially as exhibited by the writers of the 
school of Houston Stewart Chamberlain, is profoundly im- 
moral, as well as unnatural and irrational. It asserts that by 
virtue of belonging to a certain 'race/ every individual mem- 
ber of it possesses qualities which inevitably destine him to 
the realization of certain ends; in the case of the German 
the chief end being universal dominion, all other 'races' being 
endowed with qualities which as inevitably destine them to 
submission and slavery to German ideals and German mas- 
ters. This essentially foolish and immoral conception has been 
the root-cause of that diseased national egotism whose ex- 
hibition during the war has been at once the scorn and the 
horror of the civilized world." 42 

The German people have especially excelled in the art of 

40 Chamberlain, Die Grundlagen des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts, 1899, trans, 
by John Lees as Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, 1910. 

41 Oakesmith, Race and Nationality, p. 58. "It is false in its theories; ludi- 
crously inaccurate in its assertions; pompous and extravagant in its style; 
insolent to its critics and opponents. . . . He frequently uses the term 'lie* 
and 'liar* of others, while claiming that he is himself constitutionally in- 
capable of lying ... he is a violent and vulgar charlatan all the time. We 
say, and say it deliberately, that he is the only author we have read to whose 
work Sidney Smith's phrase, 'the crapulous eructations of a drunken cobbler/ 
could appropriately be applied." A judgment with which all impartial critics 
would agree. 

*2 Oakesmith, Race b Nationality, p. 50. 


creating myths. Luther successfully destroyed the mythologi- 
cal element in Christianity for them, and from the date of that 
event to the advent of the Nazi Party the Germans have been 
seeking for some new mythology wherewith to replace it. 
When he cleared the way for a more purely rational inter- 
pretation of the world, Luther failed to forsee that by with- 
drawing the experience of the mystical, the poetic, the meta- 
physical, and the dramatic he was building for a time when 
the people would be glad to embrace a mythology whose bar- 
barity would have appalled him. One may never deprive a 
people of its feeling of unity with the world, with nature, and 
with man without providing another set of such metaphysical 
beliefs unless one is ready to brook disaster. We may recall 
the words of Renan, written in 1848: "The serious thing is 
that we fail to perceive a means of providing humanity in the 
future with a catechism that will be acceptable henceforth, 
except on the condition of returning to a state of credulity. 
Hence, it is possible that the ruin of idealistic beliefs may be 
fated to follow hard upon the ruin of supernatural beliefs 
and that the real abasement of the morality of humanity will 
date from the day it has seen the reality of things. Chimeras 
have succeeded in obtaining from the good gorilla an aston- 
ishing moral effort; do away with the chimeras and part of the 
factitious energy they aroused will disappear.'* 48 

In post-war Europe the Germans found themselves espe- 
cially alone and frustrated. By providing them with a new 
mythology and making the Germans feel that they belong to a 
"superior race" the "Herrenvolk," Hitler has provided them 
with a completely acceptable Weltanschauung. The fact that 
the Nazi "race" theories represent the most ludicrous and 
vicious mythology that has ever been perpetrated upon a peo- 
ple does not, as we know, prevent these myths from function- 
ing as if they were perfectly true. "If one asks," as Bonger has 
done, "whether these partisans are even partially successful 
in proving their thesis, then the answer must be a decided No. 
It is really no theory at all but a second-rate religion. Things 
are not proved but only alleged. It resembles the commonly 

Renan, The Future of Science, p. xviii. 


witnessed phenomenon of persons who, quite without reason, 
fancy themselves (and often their families also) to be more 
exalted than others. But now it is carried out on a much 
larger scale, and with much greater detriment to society, since 
it affects wide-spread groups." 44 

Lord Bryce, writing in 1915 during the first Great War, re- 
marked: "Whatever condemnation may be passed and justly 
passed upon reckless leaders and a ruthless caste that lives 
for and worships war, it is the popular sentiment behind them, 
the exaggeration of racial vanity and national pretensions, 
that has been and is the real source of the mischief, for with- 
out such sentiments no caste could exert its baleful power. 
Such sentiments are not confined to any single nation, and 
they are even more widespread in the wealthier and more edu- 
cated classes than in the humbler. ... It is largely by the 
educated, by students and writers as well as by political lead- 
ers, that the mischief has been done, more or less everywhere, 
even if most conspicuously in one country." 45 

How much more true are these words today than when they 
were written more than a quarter of a century ago! We all 
know only too well to what horrors the reckless "fiihrers" of 
the Axis nations and their ruthless conduct has led the world, 
and we have witnessed the exaggeration of "racial" vanity and 
national pretensions assuming the form of a national religion 
and serving as an incentive to the common people to follow 
wherever their "fiihrers" lead. We have seen the virus of the 
disease spread throughout the greater part of the civilized 
world in the form of "racism," and we have heard the word 
"race" bandied about over the ether waves, on the screen, from 
the pulpit, in our houses of legislature, and used by dema- 
gogues in various mischievous ways. In the press, in books of 
all sorts, and in the magazines the same mischievous looseness 
of usage is observable. Today, more than at any previous time 
in the history of man, it is urgently necessary to be clear as to 
what this term is and what it really means. 

The fact is that the modern concept of "race" is a product 

** Bonger, Race and Crime, p. n. 

45 Jiryce, Race Sentiment as a Factor in History, p. 31 1 


of emotional reasoning, and, as we have seen, from their in- 
ception "racial" questions have always been discussed in an 
emotional atmosphere. It might almost be called "the atmos- 
phere of the scapegoat/' or possibly, "the atmosphere of frus- 
tration or fear of frustration." As a writer in the leading organ 
of British science, Nature, recently remarked: "It is a matter 
of general experience that racial questions are rarely debated 
on their merits. In the discussion of the effects of inter-racial 
breeding among the different varieties of the human stock, the 
issue is commonly determined by prejudice masquerading as 
pride of race or political and economic considerations more or 
less veiled in arguments brought forward in support of a pol- 
icy of segregation. No appeal is made to what should be the 
crucial factor, the verdict of science." 46 

And what is the verdict of science? It will be our purpose to 
make that verdict clear in the following pages. The older 
school of anthropologists, 47 many of whom are still with us, 
grappled with the problem unsuccessfully, and the great num- 
ber of conflicting viewpoints they presented shows that they 
were, as a whole, never quite clear as to what was to be meant 
by the term "race." They were, and are, in fact, something 
less than clear, if not altogether confused. In the following 
chapter a brief attempt will be made to show how many past 
and some present anthropologists have come to be confused 
upon the subject of "race." 

46 "Miscegenation in South Africa," Nature, No. 3698, 1940, p. 357. The 
above remarks refer to the official report of the commissioners appointed by 
the Union of South Africa under the title Report of the Commission on Mixed 
Marriages in South Africa, Government Printer, Pretoria, 1939. This document 
provides an interesting case study of "race" prejudice in action. American 
precedents, laws, and decisions, relating to intermarriage are heavily drawn 

*7 in using the term "anthropologist" here and in the succeeding chapter 
I am referring to the physical anthropologist as distinguished from the cul- 
tural anthropologist. Possibly because of their wider and more intimate 
acquaintance with a variety of different peoples, particularly in the more 
isolated parts of the world, cultural anthropologists have generally been some- 
what more sound on the subject of "race" than have most physical anthro- 




IT is SAID that when the theory of evolution was first an- 
nounced it was received by the wife of the Canon of Worces- 
ter Cathedral with the remark, "Descended from the apes! 
My dear, we will hope it is not true. But if it is, let us pray 
that it may not become generally known/' 

The attempt to deprive the anthropologist of his belief in 
"race" may by some be construed as a piece of cruelty akin to 
that which sought to deprive the Canon's wife of her belief 
in the doctrine of special creation. Indeed, the anthropologi- 
cal conception of "race" and the belief in special creation have 
much in common, for "race" is, to a large extent, the special 
creation of the anthropologist. Many anthropologists take it 
for granted that "race" corresponds to some sort of physical 
reality in nature. In fact, the idea of "race" is one of the most 
fundamental, if not the most fundamental, of the concepts 
with which the anthropologist has habitually worked. To 
question the validity of this basic concept upon which he was 
intellectually brought up as if it were an axiom is something 
which has thus far occurred only to a very small number of 
anthropologists. One doesn't question the axioms upon which 
one's science and one's activity in it are based at least, not 
usually. One simply takes them for granted. 

But in science, as in life, it is a good practice to attach from 
time to time a question mark to the facts one takes most for 
granted. In science such questioning is important, because 
without it there is a very real danger that certain erroneous 
or arbitrary ideas, which may originally have been used merely 
as a convenience, may become so fortified by technicality and 
so dignified by time that their original infirmities may even- 
tually be wholly concealed. 


So with the anthropological conception of "race." It is, in- 
deed, nothing but a whited sepulcher, a conception which in 
the light of modern field and experimental genetics is utterly 
erroneous and meaningless; "an absolutist system of meta- 
physical beliefs/' as it has been called. 1 As such it should be 
dropped from the anthropological, as well as from the popu- 
lar, vocabulary, for it is a tendentious term which has done 
an infinite amount of harm and no good at all. 

The development of the anthropological conception of 
"race" may be traced from the scholastic naturalization of 
Aristotle's doctrine of the predicables of genus, species, dif- 
ference, property, and accident. From the Middle Ages 
through the seventeenth century it may be traced to the early 
days of the Age of Enlightenment, when Linnaeus, in 1735, 
took over the concepts of class, genus, and species from the 
theologians to serve him as systematic tools. 2 As we have al- 
ready seen, the term race was first introduced into the litera- 
ture of natural history by Buffon in 1749. But Buff on did not 
use the term in a classificatory sense; this was left to Blumen- 

As used by Blumenbach the term "race" merely represented 
an extension of the Aristotelian conception of species, that is 
to say, it was a subdivision of a species. Like Buffon, Blumen- 
bach recognized that all human beings belong to a single spe- 
cies, as did Linnaeus, and he considered it merely convenient 
to distinguish between certain geographically localized groups 
of man. Thus, when with Blumenbach, in the late eighteenth 
century, the term assumed a classificatory value, it was under- 
stood that that value was purely arbitrary and no more than 
a simple convenience. It had no other meaning than that. 

The Aristotelian conception of species, the theological doc- 
trine of special creation, and the natural history of the Age 
of Enlightenment, as represented particularly by Cuvier's 
brilliant conception of unity of type, namely, the idea that ani- 

1 Myrdal, An American Dilemma: the Negro Problem and American Democ- 
racy, p. i 16. 

2 Linnaeus, Systema naturae. 


mals can be grouped and classified upon the basis of assem- 
blages of structural characters which, more or less, they have 
in common, these three conceptions fitted together extremely 
well and together yielded the idea of the fixity of species. An 
idea which, in spite of every indication to the contrary in the 
years which followed, was gradually extended to the concept 
of "race/* 

The Darwinian contribution showed that species were not 
as fixed as was formerly believed and that under the action of 
natural selection one species might give rise to another; that 
all animal forms might change in this way. It is, however, 
important to remember that Darwin conceived of evolution 
as a process involving continuous materials, which, without 
the operation of natural selection, would remain unchanged. 
Hence, under the Darwinian conception of species it was still 
possible to think of species as relatively fixed and immutable, 
with the modification that under the slow action of natural 
selection they were capable of change. For the nineteenth- 
century anthropologist, therefore, it was possible to think of 
"race" or "races," not as Blumehbach did in the eighteenth 
century, as an arbitrary convenience in classification, but as 
Cuvier did at the beginning of the nineteenth century for all 
animals, as groups which could be classified upon the basis of 
the fact that they possessed an aggregate of common physical 
characters, and, as Darwin later postulated, as groups which 
varied only under conditions of natural selection, but which 
otherwise remained unchanged. 

This is essentially a scholastic conception of species with the 
one fundamental difference that a species is considered to be 
no longer fixed and immutable. As far as the older anthro- 
pological conception of "race" is concerned, the anthropolo- 
gist, unaware of the significance of the findings of modern 
genetics, still thinks of "race" as the scholastics thought of spe- 
cies, as a knowable fixed whole, the essence of which could be 
defined per genus, propria, et differentia. 

In fact, the anthropologist has simply taken over a very 
crude eighteenth-century notion which was originally offered 


as a general term with no more than an arbitrary value a 
convenient aid to the memory in discussing various groups 
of mankind and having erected a tremendous terminology 
and methodology about it, has deceived himself in the belief 
that he is dealing with an objective reality. 8 

The most recent illuminating reflection of a persisting 
anthropological viewpoint occurs in a charming book by a 
young student of anthropology. In explaining the object of her 
investigations, she writes: "The purpose of these anthropo- 
metric measurements is the establishment of various physical 
types. The more generalized characteristics of the inhabitants 
of any one locality can be determined, the resemblances to 
and differences from their near and remote neighbours, the 
ideal being to discover the various strains which are there 
combined. In anthropology there is as much information to 
be gathered from these physical measurements as from the 
study of social habits and customs." 4 This represents a fair 
statement of older anthropological viewpoint, "the purpose of 
these anthropometric measurements is the establishment of 
various physical types." 

For more than a century anthropologists have been direct- 
ing their attention principally toward the task of establishing 
criteria by means of which "races" of mankind might be de- 
fined. They have all taken completely for granted the one 
thing which required to be proved, namely, that the concept 
of "race" corresponds with a reality which can actually be 
measured and verified and descriptively set out so that it can 
be seen to be a fact. 5 In short, that the anthropological con- 

s As Boas remarked, "we talk all the time glibly of races and nobody can give 
us a definite answer to the question what constitutes a race." Speaking of his 
earliest days as a physical anthropologist, Boas says: "When I turned to the 
consideration of racial problems I was shocked by the formalism of the work. 
Nobody had tried to answer the questions why certain measurements were 
taken, why they were considered significant, whether they were subject to 
other influences." Boas, "History and Science in Anthropology: a Reply," 
American Anthropologist, XXXVIII (1936), 140. 

* Crockett, The House in the Rain Forest, p. 29. 

5 T. H. Huxley in his essay, published in 1865, "On the Methods and Results 
of Ethnology," (reprinted in Man's Place in Nature) refused to use the terms 
"Stocks," "varieties," "races," or "species" in connection with man, "because 


ception of "race" is true which states that in nature there exist 
groups of human beings comprised of individuals each of 
whom possess a certain aggregate of characters which indi- 
vidually and collectively serve to distinguish them from the 
individuals in all other groups. 

Stated in plain English, this is the conception of "race" 
which most anthropologists have held and practically every- 
one else, except the geneticist, accepts. When, as in recent 
years, some anthropologists have admitted that the concept 
cannot be strictly applied in any systematic sense, they have 
thought to escape the consequences of such an admission by 
calling the term a "general" one and have proceeded to play 
the old game of blind man's bluff with a sublimity which is 
almost enviable. For it is not vouchsafed to everybody com- 
pletely to appreciate the grandeur of the doctrine here im- 
plied. The feeling of dissatisfaction with which most an- 
thropologists have viewed the many laborious attempts at 
classification of human groups has not, on the whole, suc- 
ceeded in generating the unloyal suspicion that something is 
probably wrong somewhere. If there is a fault, it was gen- 
erally supposed, it lies, not with the anthropologist, but with 
the material, with the human beings themselves who are the 
subject of classification, and who always vary so much that it 
is difficult to put them into the group where they were con- 
ceived properly to belong. This was definitely a nuisance, but, 
happily, one which could be overcome by the simple expedi- 
ent of "averaging" the principal occupation of the student 
of "race." 


The process of averaging the characters of a given group, of 
knocking the individuals together, giving them a good stir- 
ring, and then serving the resulting omelette as a "race" is 

each of these last well-known terms implies, on the part of its employer, a 
preconceived opinion touching one of those problems, the solution of which 
is the ultimate object of the science; and in regard to which therefore, 
ethnologists are especially bound to keep their minds open and their judg- 
ments freely balanced." 


essentially the anthropological process of race-making. It may 
be good cooking, but it is not science, since it serves to confuse 
rather than to clarify. When an omelette is done, it has a fairly 
uniform character, though the ingredients which have entered 
into its making have been varied. So it is with the anthropolog- 
ical conception of "race." It is an omelette which corresponds 
to nothing in nature. An indigestible dish conjured into being 
by an anthropological chef from a number of ingredients 
which are extremely varied in character. The omelette called 
"race" has no existence outside the statistical frying pan in 
which it has been reduced by the heat of the anthropological 

It is this omelette conception of "race" which is so meaning- 
less meaningless because it is inapplicable to anything real. 
When anthropologists begin to realize that the proper de- 
scription of a group does not consist in the process of making 
an omelette of it, but in the description of the character of the 
variability of the elements entering into it its ingredients 
they will discover that the fault lies, not with the materials, 
but with the conceptual tool with which they have approached 
its study. 

That many differences exist between various groups of 
human beings is obvious; but the older anthropological con- 
ception of these is erroneous, and the older anthropological 
approach to the study of their relationships is unscientific 
and pre-Mendelian. Taxonomic exercises in the classification 
of assemblages of phenotypical (external) characters will never 
succeed in elucidating the relationships of different groups of 
mankind to one another, for the simple reason that it is not 
assemblages of characters which undergo changes in the forma- 
tion of the individual and the group, but the single units which 
determine those characters. One of the great persisting errors 
involved in the anthropological conception of "race" has been 
due to the steady refusal to recognize this fact. The fact is that 
it is not possible to classify the various groups of mankind by 
means of the characters which anthropologists have custom- 
arily used, because those characters do not behave as pre- 


Mendelian anthropologists think they should behave, namely, 
as complexes of characters which are relatively fixed and are 
transmitted as complexes, but instead in a totally different 
manner, as the expressions of the many independent units, 
linked and unlinked, which have entered into their formation. 

The parallel in the history of biology is very striking here 
and has been well illustrated by Dobzhansky, who writes: 
"Many studies on hybridization were made before Mendel, 
but they did not lead to the discovery of Mendel's laws. In 
retrospect, we see clearly where the mistake of Mendel's pred- 
ecessors lay: they treated as units the complexes of characteris- 
tics of individuals, races, and species, and attempted to find 
rules governing the inheritance of such complexes. Mendel 
was first to understand that it was the inheritance of separate 
traits, and not complexes of traits, which had to be studied. 
Some of the modern students of racial variability consistently 
repeat the mistakes of Mendel's predecessors." 6 

The materials of evolution are not represented by con- 
tinuous aggregates ot characters, but by discontinuous pack- 
ages of chemicals, each of which is more or less independent in 
its action and may be only partially responsible for the form 
of any character. These chemical packages are the genes, sit- 
uated within the chromosomes, structures with which some 
anthropologists are still scarcely on terms of a bowing ac- 
quaintance. These genes retain both their independence and 
their individual character more or less indefinitely, although 
probably they are all inherently variable and, in time, may 
undergo mutation. For these reasons any conception of "race" 
which operates as if inheritance were a matter of transmitting 
gross aggregates of characters is both erroneous and meaning- 
less. To quote Dobzhansky once more: "The difficulty . . . 
is that . . . the concept of race as a system of character aver- 
ages logically implies a theory of continuous, rather than of 
particulate, germ plasm. Such a concept is obviously out- 
moded and incapable of producing much insight into the 
causative factors at work in human populations. Although 

Dobzhansky, Genetics and the Origin of Species, *d ed., p. 78. 


the genie basis of relatively few human traits is known, it 
seems that following up the distribution of these few traits 
could tell us more about the 'races' than a great abundance 
of measurements/' 7 


The principle agencies of evolutionary change in man are 
primarily gene variability and gene mutation. Evolutionary 
changes are brought about through the rearrangements in the 
combinations of genes in consequence of the operation of 
many secondary factors, physical and social, and changes in 
the character of the genes themselves. In order to appreciate 
the meaning of the variety presented by mankind today it is 
indispensably necessary to understand the manner in which 
these agencies work. Thus, in man it is practically certain that 
some forms of hair and skin color are due to mutation, while 
still other forms are due to various combinations of these 
mutant forms with one another, as also with nonmutant forms. 
The rate of mutation for different genes in man is unknown, 
though it has been calculated that the gene for normal clot- 
ting mutates, for example, to the gene for haemophilia in one 
out of every 50,000 individuals per generation. It is highly 
probable, for example, that such a mutation occurred in the 
person of 'Queen Victoria, a fact which in the long run may 
perhaps constitute her chief claim to fame. 8 The rate of muta- 
tion of the blood group genes, however, must be very low, and 
it is unlikely that such mutations have occurred since the 
apes and man set out upon their divergent evolutionary paths. 9 
Mutation of skin-color genes is also very infrequent, while 
mutation of hair-form genes is not much more frequent. 

If anthropologists are ever to understand how the different 
groups of mankind came to possess such characters as dis- 
tinguish the more geographically isolated of them, and those 
of the less isolated, more recently mixed, and therefore less 

7 Ibid., p. 359. 

Haldane, Heredity and Politics, p. 88. 

See Boyd, "Critique of Methods of Classifying Mankind/' Amer. ]. Phys. 
Anthrop., XXIV (1940), 333-64- 


distinguishable groups, it should .be obvious that they must 
cease making omelettes of the very ingredients, the genes, 
which it should be our purpose to isolate and map. What must 
be studied are the frequencies with which such genes occur 
in different groups or populations. The gene frequency 
method for the study of the distribution of human genes is a 
very simple one and has now been available for some time, 10 
as likewise, has been the method for the study of genetic link- 
age in man. 11 If, roughly speaking, one gene be assigned to 
every component of the human body, it should be fairly clear 
that as regards the structure of man we are dealing with many 
thousands of genes. If we consider the newer concepts, which 
recognize that the adult individual represents the end point 
in the interaction between all these genes, the complexities 
become even greater. The morphological characters which an 
thropologists have relied upon for their "racial'* classifications 
have been very few indeed, involving a minute fraction of the 
great number of genes which it would actually be necessary to 
consider in attempting to make any real that is to say, 
genetically analytic classification of mankind. 

To sum up, the indictment against the older anthropologi- 
cal conception of "race" is (i) that it is artificial, (2) that it 
does not correspond with the facts, (3) that it leads to confu- 
sion and the perpetuation of error, and finally, (4) that for 
all these reasons it is meaningless, or rather, more accurately, 
such meaning as it possesses is false. Based as it is on unex- 
amined facts and unjustifiable generalizations, it were better 
that the term, being so weighed down with false meaning, were 
dropped altogether than that any attempt should be made to 
give it a new meaning. 

If it be agreed that the human species is one and that it con- 
sists of a group of populations which, more or less, replace 
each other geographically or ecologically and of which the 

10 For a clear exposition of the facts see Strandskov, "The Distribution of 
Human Genes," Scientific Monthly, LII (1941), 203-15, and "The Genetics of 
Human Populations," American Naturalist, LXXVI (1942), 156-64. 

11 Finney, "The Detection of Linkage," The Journal of Heredity, XXXIII 
(1942), 156-60. 


neighboring ones intergrade or hybridize wherever they are 
in contact, or more potentially capable of doing so, 12 then it 
should be obvious that the task of the student interested in the 
character of these populations must be to study the frequency 
distribution of the genes which characterize them not en- 
tities which are purely imaginary. 

Physical anthropologists must recognize that they have un- 
wittingly played no small part in the creation of the myth of 
"race," which in our time has assumed so monstrous a form. 
I am glad to say that since the appearance of the first edition 
of the present volume a number of anthropologists have seen 
their responsibility clearly and are taking active steps to exor- 
cise the monster and deliver the thought and conduct of man- 
kind from its evil influence. 13 Dr, G. M. Morant, England's 
most distinguished physical anthropologist, in delivering the 
address on physical anthropology at the centenary meeting 
of the Royal Anthropological Institute, said: "It seems to me 
that the time has come when anthropologists must fully rec- 
ognize fundamental changes in their treatment of the problem 
of racial classification. The idea that a race is a group of peo- 
ple separated from all others on account of the distinctive 
ancestry of its members, is implied whenever a racial label is 
used, but in fact we have no knowledge of the existence of 
such populations to-day or in any past time. Gradations be- 
tween any regional groups distinguished, and an absence of 
clear-cut divisions, are the universal rule. Our methods have 
never been fully adapted to deal with this situation/* u 

12 Mayr, "Speciation Phenomena in Birds," Biological Symposia, II (1941), 
66, and Systematics and the Origin of Species, pp. 154 ff. 

is For a very cogent criticism, by a cultural anthropologist, along similar 
lines, see the chapter on "race" in Linton, The Study of Man, pp. 22-45. See 
also Krogman, "The Concept of Race/' in Linton (editor), The Science of 
Man in the World Crisis, pp. 38-62. 

i* Morant, "The Future of Physical Anthropology," Man, XLIV (1944), 17. 


AWE HAVE SEEN in the preceding chapter, the customary 
anthropological practice of describing the end effects of 
complex variations without in the least attempting to 
consider the nature of the conditions responsible for them 
can never lead to any understanding of their real meaning. In 
order to understand the end effects with which the physical 
anthropologist has been so much concerned it is necessary to 
investigate the causes producing them, and this can only be 
done by studying the conditions under which they come into 
being, for it should be obvious that it is the conditions pro- 
ducing the end effects which must be regarded as the efficient 
causes of them. 

Comparing numerous series of metrical and nonmetrical 
characters relating to different varieties of man may provide 
us with some notion of their likenesses and differences and 
tell us something of the variability of some of their characters; 
this is necessary and important, but no amount of detailed 
description and comparison will ever tell us how such groups 
came to be as we now find them, unless a serious attempt be 
made to discover the causes operative in producing them. 

Such causes are at work before our eyes at the present time. 
In this country and in many other parts of the world where 
different "racial" groups have met and interbred determinate 
sequences, if not the actual mechanism, of "racial" change 
may be studied. The discoveries of geneticists concerning the 
manner in which genetic changes are brought about in other 
organisms and what little is known of human genetics renders 
it perfectly clear that the genetic systems of all living things 
behave fundamentally according to the same laws. If this is 
true, it then becomes possible, for the first time in the history 
of man, to envisage the possibility of an evolution in genetical 
terms of the past stages through which man, as a variable spe- 


cies, must have passed in order to attain his present variety 
of form and also, in the same terms, to account for that variety. 

The principles involved in the genetic approach to the study 
of the evolution of the variety of mankind cannot be fully 
discussed here, because such a discussion would demand a 
treatise in itself. Here we have space only for a very condensed 
statement of the genetical theory of "race." 

The conception of "race" here proposed is based upon the 
following fundamental postulates: (i) that the original an- 
cestral species population was genetically relatively hetero- 
geneous; (2) that by migration away from this original an- 
cestral group, individual families became dispersed over the 
earth; (3) that some of the groups thus dispersed became 
geographically isolated from one another and remained so 
isolated for more or less considerable periods of time; (4) that 
upon all these isolated groups several of the following factors 
came into play as conditions leading to evolutionary change: 
(a) the genetic drift or inherent variability of the genotypic, 
materials composing each individual member of the group; 
(6) physical change in the action of a gene associated, in a 
partial manner, with a particular character, that is, gene 

Genetic drift describes the fact that, given a genetically 
heterogeneous or heterozygous group, spontaneous random 
variations in gene frequencies will, in the course of time, 
occur, so that such originally relatively homogeneous groups 
will come to exhibit certain differences from other isolate 
groups which started with the same genetic equipment. 

Mutation defines the condition in which a particular gene 
undergoes a permanent change of some sort, and its action ex- 
presses itself in the appearance of a new form of an old char- 
acter. Mutations have almost certainly occurred independently 
in different human isolate groups, at different times and at 
different rates, and have affected different characters. Thus, 
for example, in one part of a population mutant dominant 
genes leading to the development of kinky hair may have 
appeared and have ultimately become scattered throughout 


the population, as among the Negroes. We cannot, however, 
make a similar assumption for all or many of the characters 
which distinguish the four divisions of man from one an- 
other. Skin color, for example, cannot be so simply explained, 
for the probabilities are high that even in early man there 
were already in existence various skin colors and also, inci- 
dentally, hair colors. 1 Selection has undoubtedly played an 
important part here. 

Up to this point we have seen that it is possible to start with 
a genetically heterogeneous, but otherwise relatively homo- 
geneous, population from which independent groups have 
migrated and become isolated from one another and that by 
random variation in gene frequencies and the change in the 
action of genes themselves disregarding for the moment the 
operation of such factors as selection of various sorts new 
genetic combinations of characters have appeared which, in 
so far as they differ from those which have appeared in other 
groups, define the differences existing between such groups. 
In brief, random variation in gene frequency and the action of 
mutant genes are the primary agencies responsible for the 
production of physical differences between human groups. In 
fact, these constitute the basic processes in the evolution of all 
animal forms. But there are also other factors involved which, 
though secondary in the sense that they act upon the primary 
factors and influence their operation, are not less important 
in their effects than the primary factors. Indeed, these sec- 
ondary factors, ecological, natural, sexual and social selection, 
inbreeding, outbreeding, or hybridization, and so forth, have 
been unremitting in their action upon the primary factors, 
but the character of that action has been very variable. The 
action of these secondary factors does not require any discus- 
sion here (hybridization is discussed in Chapter VIII). I wish 

i Among apes of the present day, for example, one encounters animals that 
are completely white skinned, others that are completely black or brown 
skinned; still others are mixed or differentially colored, thus the face and 
hands and feet may be black and the rest of the body white or brown. The 
hair on the crown of a gorilla's head may contain almost every color that is 
tp be found among men today. 


here to emphasize principally that in the character of the 
action of the two primary factors, genetic drift and gene 
mutation, we have the clear demonstration that the variation 
of all human groups is a natural process which is constantly 
proceeding. It is here being suggested that "race" is merely 
an expression of the process of genetic change within a def- 
inite ecologic area; that "race" is a dynamic, not a static, con- 
dition; and that it becomes static and classifiable only when 
a taxonomically minded anthropologist arbitrarily delimits 
the process of change at his own time level. 

In short, the so-called "races" merely represent different 
kinds of temporary mixtures of genetic materials common to 
all mankind. As Shelley wrote, 

Man's yesterday may ne'er be like his morrow; 
Naught may endure but mutability. 

Given a sufficient amount of time, all genes presumably 
mutate. The frequency with which various genes have under- 
gone change or mutation in human groups is at present un- 
known, but when anthropologists address themselves to the 
task of solving the problem of gene variability in different 
human groups, important discoveries may be expected. The 
immediate task of the physical anthropologist interested in 
the origins of human variety should be to investigate the prob- 
lem presented by that variety, not as a taxonomist, but as a 
geneticist, since the variety which is loosely called "race" is a 
process which can only be accurately described in terms of the 
frequencies with which the individual genes occur in groups 
representing adequate geographic isolates. 

If "race" and "racial" variability can best be described in 
terms of gene frequencies, then among the most important 
tasks of the anthropologist must be to discover what roles the 
primary and secondary factors play in producing that varia- 

The approach to the solution of this problem is twofold. 
First, through the analysis of the character of the variability 
itself in definitely localized groups and, second, through the 


study of the effects of "race" mixture among living peoples. 
Such studies as those of Fischer, Herskovits, and Davenport 
and Steggerda have already shown what can be achieved by 
means of the genetic approach. 2 As Dobzhansky has pointed 
out, "the fundamental units of racial variability are popula- 
tions and genes, not complexes of characters which connote 
in the popular mind a racial distinction.'* 3 It is with such com- 
plexes that physical anthropologists have been fruitlessly deal- 
ing for so long. And as Dobzhansky so cogently put it in a pre- 
viously quoted passage which, however, cannot be too often 
repeated, the error of the pre-Mendelians lay in the fact that 
"they treated as units the complexes ot characteristics of in- 
dividuals, races, and species, and attempted to find rules gov- 
erning the inheritance of such complexes. Mendel was first to 
understand that it was the inheritance of separate traits, and 
not of complexes of traits, which had to be studied. Some of 
the modern students of racial variability consistently repeat 
the mistakes of Mendel's predecessors." 4 

In man the process of "race" formation is genetically best 
understood in terms of the frequency with which certain 
genes become differentiated in different groups derived from 
an originally somewhat heterogeneous species population and 
subsequently undergo independent development. We have 
already seen that the mechanisms involved in differentiating 
a single collective genotype into several separate genotypes, 
and the subsequent development of a variety of phenotypes 
within these genotypes, are primarily genetic drift or gene 
variability and gene mutation, and secondarily, the action of 
such factors as environment, natural, social, and sexual selec- 
tion, inbreeding, outbreeding, and the like. 

Many of the physical differences existing between the living 
races of man probably originally represented the end effects 
of small gene mutations fitting harmoniously into gene sys- 

2 Fischer, Die Rehobother Bastards und das Bastardierungsproblem beim 
Menschen; Herskovits, The American Negro and The Anthropometry of the 
American Negro; Davenport and Steggerda, Race Crossing in Jamaica. 

s Dobzhansky, Genetics and the Origin of Species, 2d ed., p. 78. 


terns which remain relatively unaltered. Judging from the 
nature of their likenesses and differences, and from the effects 
of intermixture the number of genes involved would appear 
to be relatively small in number, each being for the most part 
independent in its action. 

Quite as important as the primary factors in the production 
of the genetic variety of mankind are the secondary factors, 
such as migration, social and sexual selection, inbreeding, 6 
outbreeding, and the like. These processes are akin to those 
practiced in the production of domestic breeds of animals 
from wild types, in whom generic, specific, and racial charac- 
ters which, under natural conditions, in the secular period of 
time concerned, would have remained stable, are rendered 
markedly unstable, as in our artificially produced varieties of 
cats, dogs, horses, and other domesticated animals. 

The common definition of "race" is based upon an arbi- 
trary and superficial selection of external characters. At its 
very best it may, in genetic terms, be redefined as a group of 
individuals of whom an appreciable majority, taken at a par- 
ticular time level, is characterized by the possession of a cer- 
tain number of genes phenotypically (that is, on the basis of 
certain visible characters) selected as marking "racial" bound- 
aries between them and other groups of individuals of the 
same species population not characterized by so high a degree 
of frequency of these particular genes. 

This is, perhaps, granting the common conception of "race" 

5 One form of inbreeding, namely, own mother's brother's daughter own 
father's sister's son marriage, that is, cross-cousin marriage, is probably very 
ancient and is still very widespread. In this connection Buxton has observed 
that "herein may lie one of the explanations of the slight differences which 
appear in the physique of different groups of mankind. If two groups exist 
side by side, do not intermarry, but each practise within their own group some 
form of consanguineous marriage, provided that it be physical and not clas- 
sificatory consanguinity, each will tend to become a pure strain, but according 
to the laws of chance each of these pure strains will tend to differ to a greater 
or lesser degree from the other. We shall thus, in time tend to get those differ- 
ences in physique between neighbouring tribes which are often so puzzling 
to the physical anthropologist. Once the pure strains have become established, 
so long as outside blood is not introduced into the tribe, this difference will 
tend to be perpetuated." L. H. D. Buxton, "Cross Cousin Marriages; the Bio- 
logical Significance/' in Rattray, Religion and Art in Ashanti, p. 343. 


too much credit for either significance or intelligibility, but it 
should be obvious that such a definition represents a rather 
fatuous kind of abstraction, a form of extrapolation for which 
there can be little place in scientific thought. What, for in- 
stance, does "an appreciable majority" refer to? What are the 
characters which are to be exhibited by this "appreciable ma- 
jority?" And upon what grounds are such characters to be 
considered as significantly defining a "race?'* As Dobzhansky 
points out, "the geographical distributions of the separate 
genes composing a racial difference are very frequently inde- 
pendent." 6 Thus, blood group distributions are independent 
of skin color or cephalic index distributions, and so forth. 
What aggregation, then, of gene likenesses and differences 
constitutes a "race" or ethnic group? 

The answer to this question awaits further research. Mean- 
while, we may venture, in a very tentative manner, a defini- 
tion of an ethnic group here. An ethnic group represents part 
of a species population in process of undergoing genetic dif- 
ferentiation; it is a group of individuals capable of hybridiz- 
ing and intergrading with other such ethnic groups to produce 
further genetic recombination and differentiation. 

In an expanded form this definition may be written as fol- 
lows: An ethnic group represents one of a number of popula- 
tions comprising the single species Homo sapiens which indi- 
vidually maintain their differences, physical and cultural, by 
means of isolating mechanisms such as geographic and social 
barriers. These differences will vary as the power of the geo- 
graphic and social barriers, acting upon the original genetic 
differences, vary. Where these barriers are of low power, 
neighboring groups will intergrade or hybridize with one an- 
other. Where these barriers are of high power, such ethnic 
groups will tend to remain distinct or to replace each other 
geographically or ecologically. 7 

Dobzhansky, Genetics and the Origin of Species, 2d ed., p. 77. 

7 The conception of an ethnic group was clearly stated as early as 1844 by 
Alexander von Humboldt; he writes: "The distribution of mankind is ... 
only a distribution into varieties, which are commonly designated by the 
somewhat indefinite term races. As in the vegetable kingdom, and in the nat- 


An example will make this definition clear. When Ameri- 
can Negroes marry and have a family, their children more 
closely resemble other American Negroes, as well as Negroes 
elsewhere in the world, than they do American or other 
whites. This merely means that the offspring have drawn their 
genes from a local group in the population in which certain 
genes, say for skin color, were present that were not present in 
other local groups of the American population. Now, the 
manner in which such genes are distributed within a popula- 
tion such as ours is determined not so much by biological fac- 
tors as by social factors. This may be illustrated by means of 
a homely example. If Negroes were freely permitted to marry 
whites, the physical differences between Negroes and whites 
would eventually be completely eliminated through the more 
or less equal distribution of their genes throughout the popu- 
lation. That this has not occurred to any large extent is due 
principally to the erection of social barriers against such "mis- 
cegenation." Such social barriers tend to keep the stocks with 
white and black genes separate. In this way such barriers act 
as isolating factors akin to natural geographic isolating fac- 
tors, which have the same effect in maintaining the homo- 
geneity of genetic characters within the isolated group. 

Is it not clear, then, that the frequency distributions of cer- 
tain genes within a population no matter how those genes 
have arisen which serve to distinguish one ethnic group 
from another for the most part represent the effects of the 
action of different isolating agents upon a common stock of 
genetic materials? Such agencies as natural, social, and sexual 
selection result in different frequency distributions of genes 

ural history of birds and fishes, a classification into many small families is 
based on a surer foundation than where large sections are separated into a few 
but large divisions; so it also appears to me, that in the determination of 
races a preference should be given to the establishment of small families or 
nations. Whether we adopt the old classification of my master, Blumenbach 
... or that of Prichard ... we fail to recognize any typical sharpness of 
definition, or any general or well established principle, in the division of 
these groups. The extremes of form and colour are certainly separated, but 
without regard to the races, which cannot be included in any of these classes." 
A. von Humboldt, Cosmos, pp. 365-66* 


among local groups and populations. Such, from the stand- 
point of the naturalist, is an ethnic group. 

It will be observed that such a definition emphasizes the fact 
that so-called "racial'* differences simply represent more or 
less temporary expressions of variations in the relative fre- 
quencies of genes in different parts of the species population 
and rejects altogether the all-or-none conception of "race" as 
a static immutable process of fixed differences. It denies the 
unwarranted assumption that there exist any hard and fast 
genetic boundaries between any groups of mankind and as- 
serts the common genetic unity of all groups. Such a concep- 
tion of "race" cuts across all national, linguistic, religious, and 
cultural boundaries and thus asserts their essential independ- 
ence of genetic factors. 


CONCERNING the origin of the living varieties of man we 
can say little more than that there is every reason to 
believe that a single stock gave rise to all of them. All 
varieties of man belong to the same species and have the same 
remote ancestry. This is a conclusion to which all the rele- 
vant evidence of comparative anatomy, palaeontology, serol- 
ogy, and genetics points. On genetic grounds alone it is vir- 
tually impossible to conceive of the varieties of man as having 
originated separately as distinct lines from different anthro- 
poid ancestors. Genetically the chances against such a process 
ever having occurred are, in terms of probability, of such an 
order as to render that suggestion inadmissible. 

Up to the present time no satisfactory classification of the 
varieties of mankind has been devised, and it is greatly to be 
doubted whether such classification is possible in any manner 
resembling the procedure of the purely botanical or zoologi- 
cal taxonomist. The reason for this is that all human varieties 
are very much more mixed than are plant or animal forms, 
hence there is a greater dispersion or scattering of characters, 
which has the effect of producing a considerable amount of 
intergrading between ethnic groups or varieties. The more or 
less great variability of all ethnic groups constitutes a genetic 
proof of their mixed character. From the biological stand- 
point the physical differences which exist between the va- 
rieties of mankind are so insignificant that when properly 
evaluated they can only be described in terms of a particular 
expression of an assortment of genes which are common to 
mankind as a whole. At most, human varieties probably differ 
from one another only in the distribution of a comparatively 
small number of genes. This one may say very much more 
definitely of man than one could say it of the differences ex- 
hibited by any of our domesticated varieties of cats, dogs, or 


horses. There are numerous varieties of cats, dogs, and horses, 
many of which represent highly selected strains of animals 
which have been developed as more or less homogeneous 
strains and domesticated by man. Man, too, is a domesticated, 
a self-domesticated, animal, but unlike our domestic animals 
man exhibits varieties that are very much mixed and far from 
representing homogeneous breeds. The range of variation in 
all human varieties for most characters is very much more con- 
siderable than that which is exhibited by any group of animals 
belonging to a comparatively homogeneous breed. All the 
evidence indicates that the differences between the so-called 
"races" of man merely represent a random combination of 
variations derived from a common source, which, by inbreed- 
ing in isolated groups, have become scattered and more or less 
stabilized and hereditary in a large number of the members 
of such groups. Furthermore, the evidence suggests that such 
selection of variations as has occurred in different groups has 
been primarily restricted to physical characters. There is no 
evidence among the ethnic groups of mankind that any proc- 
ess of mental selection has ever been operative which has acted 
differentially upon mankind to produce different types of 
minds. The conception of selection for mental qualities seems 
to be a peculiarly modern one, adapted to modern prejudices. 
Man has bred dogs for certain temperamental qualities 
useful in the hunt for many centuries dogs like the Irish 
setter, for example. The Irish setter is always red-haired, but 
his red hair has no connection with his temperamental quali- 
ties. The Irish setter has the same kind of temperament as the 
English setter, but the hair color of the English setter is white 
and black. The only difference between the white, the black, 
the white and black, and the red setters is in their coat color; 
there is no difference at all in their mental or temperamental 
qualities. No one ever asks whether there are mental and tem- 
peramental differences between white, black, or brown horses 
such a question would seem rather silly; but when it comes 
to man, the prejudice of anyone who has ever made the state- 
ment that skin color is associated with mental capacity is ag- 


cepted as gospel. For such an assumption there is about as 
much justification as there would be for the assumption that 
there exist substantial mental differences between the differ- 
ent color varieties of setters. We know this to be false concern- 
ing setters only because we have paid more unprejudiced 
attention to the mental qualities of dogs than we have to those 
of human beings. But those of us who have paid some atten- 
tion to the character and form of the minds of peoples belong- 
ing to different varieties of mankind and to different cultures 
have satisfied ourselves by every scientific means at our dis- 
posal that significantly or innately determined mental differ- 
ences between the varieties of mankind have thus far not been 
demonstrable. It may be that some such differences do exist, 
but if they do, they have so far successfully eluded every at- 
tempt to prove their existence. There is every reason to be- 
lieve that such mental differences as we observe to exist be- 
tween the different varieties of man are due principally to 
factors of a cultural nature and are in no demonstrably sig- 
nificant manner inseparably related to biological factors. We 
shall presently refer to the nature of the mental differences 
which are alleged to exist between different ethnic groups. 

Whether the varieties of mankind have a common origin 
or not is strictly a matter which need concern us little, in view 
of the fact that structurally, in spite of superficial differences, 
they are all now so very much alike. No one physical trait is 
limited to any particular variety, Although different varieties 
show higher frequencies in the possession of certain physical 
traits than others. Such differences in the distribution of the 
frequencies of physical characters in different human groups 
simply mean that at some time in the past individuals of dif- 
ferent heredity interbred, and in isolation continued to do so, 
with the result that a new combination of characters became 
more or less evenly distributed throughout the group. In this 
way a new human variety or ethnic group was produced. The 
fact that all human races and ethnic groups are generated in 
this way is suggested not only by what we know of human 
crosses today particularly the American Negro and the be- 


havior of other animal groups but also by the presence in all 
human beings of a large number of the characters most fre- 
quently found in any one group. The fundamental genetic 
kinship of all the ethnic groups of mankind would, therefore, 
seem to be clear. 

With respect to the nature of those physical characters in 
the frequency distribution of which varieties differ from one 
another, it needs to be said that not one can be classified as 
either "higher" or "lower" in the "scale" of development. 
Every normal physical character must be appraised as equally 
valuable for the respective functions which it is called upon to 
perform. Such a character, for example, as black skin proba- 
bly represents a variety of the original skin color of man. 
Whatever its origin, a black skin is undoubtedly a character 
of adaptive value, since it enables the individual to withstand 
the dangerous actinic rays of the sun. Hence, for groups living 
in areas of intense sunlight a black skin would, in terms of 
natural selection, in general be superior to a white skin. 

By definition all members of the human species belong to 
the same classificatory and evolutionary rank, and the varie- 
ties of the human species, for the most part, merely represent 
the expression of successful attempts at adaptation to the en- 
vironment or habitat in which they have been segregated. It 
is not altogether an accident that we find dark skins associated 
with regions of high temperatures and intense sunlight and 
light skins associated with cooler climates and moderate de- 
grees of sunlight. In this same connection, compare the habi- 
tat of the white bear with that of the black or the brown bear; 
also, the frequency of black insects in deserts; Gloger's rule 
melanin pigmentation in mammals and birds increases in 
warm and humid and lighter pigmentation in arid countries. 
Lukin finds that darkly pigmented races of insects are found 
in countries with humid and lightly pigmented races in coun- 
tries with arid climates. 1 

Black skin appears to represent a character of adaptive 
value which in some groups followed upon the loss of the 

i Dobzhansky, "Rules of Geographic Variation," Science, XCIX (1944), 127-28. 


body-covering of hair. Thus, most apes and monkeys which 
possess an abundant hairy coat have white skin beneath the 
hair. It may, therefore, be assumed that the skin of early man 
was probably white; but the opposite assumption may be 
equally true, that is, some groups of the earliest men may have 
been black. In that case we would have to say, disregarding 
for the moment all other considerations, that white-skinned 
peoples have a lesser amount of pigment in their skin merely 
because the shift from the birthplace of their ancestors, which 
there is good reason to believe was either eastern Asia or At- 
rica, to the cooler regions of Europe gradually resulted in a de- 
crease in the amount of pigment in their skin, so that in the 
course of time, by means of selection of genes for low pigmen- 
tation, this has become considerably reduced. 

To the present day, exposure to the intense sunlight will 
bring about the production of an increased amount of pig- 
ment in many whites, so that depending upon the degree of 
exposure the skin may turn dark even black. This latter 
phenomenon will occur more readily in brunets than in 
blonds, simply because brunets possess a great amount of the 
substances required for the production of pigment, whereas 
blonds possess a much lower proportion of these substances. 2 

It should be obvious that black and white skins are, in their 
own ways, characters of physiological importance for the sur- 
vival of the individual. In hot climates those individuals 
would be most favored who possessed skins sufficiently dark 
to cut off the dangerous actinic rays of the sun. In cool cli- 
mates, where the rays of the sun are not so intense and the 
body requires a certain amount of sunlight in order to func- 
tion properly, those individuals would be at an advantage 
that is to say, over a considerable period of time who were 
characterized by a lesser amount of pigment in the skin. 

Albinos, individuals whose skin tissues are completely de- 

2 Edwards and Duntley, "The Pigments and Color of Living Skin," American 
Journal of Anatomy, LXV (1939), 1-33. The darkening of white skin under 
sunlight has, of course, no effect on the genes for white skin. Any permanent 
change in skin color would have to come by selection of genes for more pig- 


void of any pigment, suffer intensely when exposed to sun- 
light. Their pigmentless tissues are incapable of taking care 
of the sun's rays; in other words, they have no adaptive mecha- 
nism to protect them from the rays of the sun. In so far as they 
lack such a mechanism they are biologically unadapted to 
meet efficiently the demands of their environment and to that 
extent they are physically inferior to those of their fellows who 
are so adapted. But there is no evidence of any associated men- 
tal inferiority in such cases. The Negro is much better adapted 
to meet the demands of the conditions of intense sunlight to 
which his ancestors were born than the white man is, 8 just as 
the white man is better adapted to meet the rigors of the 
cooler climates of his adopted homelands. Is the one therefore 
superior or inferior to the other? Is the white man superior 
to the Negro because he has lost the greater part of his pig- 
ment, because biologically his organism has not required its 
presence under the conditions in which he has lived? And is 
the Negro superior (or inferior) because he is the descendant 
of ancestors who were able to survive by virtue of the selective 
value of their darkly pigmented skins? Clearly, there can be 
no question here of either inferiority or superiority. Both the 
Negro and the white man have survived because they and 
their ancestors were possessed of characters of adaptive value 
which, under the respective conditions of their differing en- 
vironments, enabled them to survive. Characters of adaptive 
value, whatever form they may take, are always desirable, 
because from the standpoint of the organism and of the group 
they enable it to survive under the unremitting action of the 
processes oi natural selection. 

Is there any sense, then, in condemning a person because of 
the color of his skin, that self-same color which enabled the 
ancestral group that gave him birth to survive the rigors of 
this world? Of course there is none, and there can be none 
from any possible point of view. The same is true of hair and 
eye color. 

But, as our racists point out, it is not only the color of the 

3 Lewis, The Biology of the Negro, pp. 94-96. 


skin which counts; what of the Negro's kinky hair, thick lips, 
lack of general body hair, and so forth? These, surely, are all 
marks of inferiority? We may well ask: "Marks of inferiority 
in what sense? In the cultural or in the biological sense?" If 
the statement is made from the cultural point of view there 
can be no argument, for what a community or person con- 
siders culturally satisfying in such connections is purely an 
arbitrary matter of taste, and concerning taste it is notorious 
that there can be no dispute. Even Negroes when educated 
in Western cultures, as in North America, owing to the cul- 
tural norms which are everywhere set before them as stand- 
ards, frequently come to consider that lank hair and white 
skin are to be preferred to black skin and kinky hair. 4 But if 
the statement is made in the biological sense as meaning that 
such Negroid physical traits are marks of biological inferior- 
ity, then it can be demonstrated that such a statement stands 
in complete contradiction to the facts. 

The three characters in question, namely, kinky hair, thick 
lips, and general lack of body hair, are not marks of inferior- 
ity, but are very definitely, in the biological sense, examples 
of characters which have progressed farther in development 
than have the same physical structures in whites. In these very 
characters the Negro is from the evolutionary standpoint 
more advanced than the white, that is, if we take as our cri- 
terion of advancement the fact of being furthest removed 
from such conditions as are exhibited by the existing anthro- 
poid apes, such as the gorilla and the chimpanzee. If some of 
our racists would take the trouble to visit their local zoo and 
for a moment would drop their air of superiority and take a 
dispassionate look at either one of these apes, they would find 
that the hair of these creatures is lank, that their lips are thin, 
and that their bodies are profusely covered with hair. In these 
characters the white man stands nearer to the apes than does 
the Negro. Is the white man, then, for this reason, to be judged 
inferior to the Negro? Surely not. 

* For the preferences of Negroes in these and other respects see Brenman, 
"Urban Lower-Class Negro Girls/' Psychiatry, VI (1943), 311-12. 


We do not know why the Negro's head hair, body hair, and 
lips have developed as they have or why whites have more 
nearly retained the primitive condition of these characters, 
but we can be certain that biologically there is a very good 
functional reason responsible in both cases which in the sys- 
tem of values involved in biological judgments must be ap- 
praised as equally valuable for the respective functions which 
each is called upon to perform. 

It has been shown that the broad nose of the Negro is 
adapted to meet the requirements of air breathed at relatively 
high temperatures, whereas the comparatively long, narrow 
nose of the white is adapted to breathing air at relatively low 
temperatures. 5 From the standpoint of aesthetics, a much 
stronger case could be made out for the Negro's nose than for 
that of the white. The peninsula of bone, cartilage, and soft 
tissues which jut out from the face of the white, with its 
stretched skin, which becomes so shiny as soon as the sweat 
begins to break through its enlarged pores, is really something 
of an atrocity. At least, any ape would think so. Let us try to 
imagine for a moment such an outgrowth from the middle of 
one's forehead instead of from the middle of one's face. In 
such a case, we would regard this structure, from our present 
standpoint, as an unsightly abnormality; and when a nose is 
unusually long, "pendulous" (as Cyrano de Bergerac put it), 
like an elephant's trunk, we tend to consider it unsightly. We 
have all grown used to our noses and take them very much 
for granted, but 

He is foolish who supposes 
That one can argue about noses. 

All that one can say is that biologically the form of the Ne- 
gro nose and the form of the white nose are each in their own 
way adapted to perform the functions which originally called 
them into existence. That being so, there can again be no 
question of either superiority or inferiority. Whether such 

* Thomson and Buxton, "Man's Nasal Index in Relation to Certain Cli- 
matic Conditions," /. Royal Anthrop. Institute, LIII (1923), 92-1x2. 


characters are due to adaptation, to natural selection, to social 
selection or to a combination of such factors is uncertain. 
What is certain is that such characters do enable individuals 
possessing them to meet the demands which their environ- 
ments have made upon them and upon their ancestors. They 
have survival value. And this may be said for all the normal 
characters of all varieties of man. 

There is one character of the human body which has been 
cited more frequently than any other as a "proof of the in- 
feriority of the Negro as compared with the white man. This 
is the size of the brain. The size of the brain is usually esti- 
mated from the capacity of the skull in terms of cubic centi- 
meters. The material available upon which to base a discus- 
sion of the value of the size of the brain as related to mental 
capacity is far from satisfactory. We do not possess sufficient 
series of thoroughly controlled measurements on numerically 
adequate samples taken upon the brains or skulls of different 
human groups. The material that is available is of such a na- 
ture that it is possible for anyone who sets out with the in- 
tention of proving a particular case to prove it in precisely the 
terms he wishes. 6 But upon the basis of the available facts the 
scientist can come to only one conclusion and that is that since 
there is no demonstrable difference in the structure, gross or 
microscopic", of the brains of the members of different ethnic 
groups and since the variability in the size of the brain is such 
that there is no demonstrable relationship between cultural 
and intellectual status and brain size, there is therefore no sig- 
nificance to be attached to brain size as a mark of cultural or 
intellectual development. Now let us briefly consider the facts. 

The cranial capacity of a number of palaeolithic Neander- 
thal men was, on the average, 1,625 c - c - What an extraordi- 
nary situation! Primitive Neanderthal man, who lived more 
than 50,000 years ago, had a larger brain than the average 
white man of today. Strange that this elementary fact has been 

For an excellent discussion of this subject see Lewis, The Biology of the 
Negro, pp. 77-Si. 


so consistently overlooked. Are we to assume, then, that these 
Neanderthal men were culturally and intellectually superior 
to the average modern white man? The Negro has an average 
cranial capacity of 1400 c.c., 50 c.c. less than the white, whereas 
the modern white has a cranial capacity which is lower than 
that of these Neanderthal men by 200 c.c. Are we to draw the 
conclusion from these facts, then, that the modern white is 
intellectually as much inferior to Neanderthal man as the 
Negro is to the white? We believe not. 

We know that Neanderthal man was hardly as highly de- 
veloped culturally as the modern white or Negro. But that 
he possessed the same capacities for cultural and intellectual 
development as the modern white or Negro seems highly 
probable. Neanderthal man was neither inferior nor superior 
to modern man because of his large brain he was inferior 
culturally to modern man for the simple reason that the op- 
portunities for cultural development which were open to him 
were strictly limited. His brain had nothing whatever to do 
with the comparatively undeveloped state of his culture, just 
as the brain of the vast majority of modern white men has 
little to do with the state of development of the Western world 
today. The brain is essentially the organ which coordinates 
nervous activities, and to a very large extent it performs that 
coordination according to the educative pattern which is of- 
fered to it. That pattern is always culturally determined and 
conditioned. Therefore, it depends to a very considerable 
extent upon the sort of cultural experiencd which an individ- 
ual has been exposed to and caused to coordinate within his 
nervous system, whether he is capable of functioning at the 
necessary level or not. 

The material bases of those structures which are eventually 
organized to function as mind are to a large extent inherited 
precisely as are all other structures of the body. This is an as- 
sumption, but it seems a perfectly legitimate one to make. 
The qualification "to a large extent" is introduced for the 
reason that in man the nervous system continues to develop 
long after birth and is therefore appreciably influenced by the 


experience of the individual. 7 There is every reason to believe, 
as Edinger has pointed out, ''that in certain parts of the nerv- 
ous mechanism new connections can always be established 
through education." 8 And as Ranson put it, "the neurons 
which make up the nervous system of an adult man are there- 
fore arranged in a system the larger outlines of which follow 
an hereditary pattern, but many of the details of which have 
been shaped by the experiences of the individual/ 1 9 It is 
evident that experience must play a considerable role in the 
development of the structure and functioning relations of the 
nervous system, and it is also clear that that aspect of the func- 
tioning of the body or nervous system which we know as mind 
is dependent upon the interaction of several factors; these are, 
primarily: the inherited, incompletely developed, structure 
of the nervous system; and the character of the external devel- 
oping influences. 

There can be no doubt that the material bases of mind are 
inherited in much the same manner as are the other structures 
of the body. While the organization of the structures of the 
body is appreciably influenced by external factors, the result- 
ing effects appear to be incomparably fewer and less complex 
than are those which are capable of being produced through 
the organization of those nervous structures which function as 
mind. 10 

Now, while it is possible though it has never been dem- 
onstrated that in different ethnic groups the nervous system 
differs in some of its structural characters, it is certain that if 
such differences exist, they are of the most insignificant kind. 
The measurable mental characters of different human groups 
strongly suggest that there are between such groups few, if 
any, mental differences which can be attributed to the charac- 

7 Kennard and Fulton, "Age and Reorganization of Central Nervous System," 
Journal of the Mount Sinai Hospital, IX (1942), 594-606. 

8 Edinger, Vorlesungen uber den Bau der nervosen Zentralorgane des 
Menschen und der Tiere. 

9 Ranson, The Anatomy of the Nervous System, 7th ed. p. 41. 

IP It should be clearly understood that mind is merely one form of the 
functioning body and that the "body-mind" dichotomy is a purely arbitrary 
and unreal one. 


ters of the nervous system alone. Furthermore, the mental dif- 
ferences which exist between human groups would appear to 
be much less considerable than those found to exist between 
individuals of the same group. In the light of our present 
knowledge, the evidence shows that within the limits of the 
normal, brain weight, cranial capacity, head size, or the gross 
structure and form of the brain bear no relation whatever 
to the characters of the mind, as between individuals of the 
same or different ethnic groups. 11 As Professor C. Judson Her- 
rick has remarked, "mental capacity cannot be measured in 
avoirdupois ounces on the scales." Nor is there necessarily any 
association between certain ethnic group characters and cer- 
tain kinds of mentality. Since mental functions are so largely 
dependent upon experience, upon cultural conditions, it is 
impossible to make any inferences as to the equivalence or 
nonequivalence of mental potentialities as between ethnic 
groups or peoples among whom the cultural conditions are 
not strictly comparable. In short, no statement concerning 
the mentality of an individual or a group is of any value un- 
less it is accompanied by a specification of the conditions of 
the cultural environment in which that mentality has devel- 
oped. No discussion of "racial" mental characters can be coun- 
tenanced which neglects full consideration of the associated 
cultural variables. For it is evident that it is precisely these 
cultural variables that play the most significant part in pro- 
ducing mental differences between groups. As I have already 
indicated, it is more than probable that genetically deter- 

11 On these matters see: Pearson, "Relationship of Intelligence to Size and 
Shape of the Heart and Other Mental and Physical Characters," Biometrika, 
V (1906), 105-46; Pearl, "On the Correlation between Intelligence and the 
Size of the Head," /. Comp. Neur. and PsychoL, XVI (1906), 189-99; Mul> - 
dock and Sullivan, "A Contribution to the Study of Mental and Physical 
Measurements in Normal Children," Amer. Physical Education Review, 
XXVIII (1923), 209-15, 278-88, 328; Reid and Mulligan, "Relation of Cranial 
Capacity to Intelligence," J. Royal Anthrop. Inst., LI II (1923), 322-32; Pater- 
son, Physique and Intellect, 1930; Bonin, "On the Size of Man's Brain, as Indi- 
cated by Skull Capacity," /. Comp. Neural., LIX (1934), 1-28; Pickering, 
"Correlation of Brain and Head Measurements and Relation of Brain Shape 
and Size of the Head." Amer. J. Physical Anthrop., XV (1931), 1-52; Levin, 
"Racial and 'Inferiority* Characters in the Human Brain," Amer. /. Physical 
Anthrop., XXII (1937), 345-80. 


mined mental differences do exist between individuals of the 
same and of different ethnic groups, but there is absolutely no 
evidence that significant mental differences which may be de- 
termined by the genetic characters of the nervous system exist 
between any two ethnic groups. As we have already said, ap- 
parently it is principally, if not entirely, due to differences in 
cultural experience that individuals and groups differ from 
one another culturally, and it is for this reason that, where the 
cultural experience has appreciably differed, cultural achieve- 
ment is an exceedingly poor measure of the mental value, 
genetically speaking, of an individual or of a group. For all 
practical purposes, therefore, and until evidence to the con- 
trary shall be forthcoming, we can safely take cultural achieve- 
ment to represent the expression chiefly of cultural experi- 
ence, not of biological potentiality. 

Professor Otto Klineberg, our leading authority in the field 
of racial and ethnic psychology, after considering the evidence 
from every standpoint, offers the following important conclu- 
sion: "We may state," he writes, "with some degree of assur- 
ance that in all probability the range of inherited capacities 
in two different ethnic groups is just about identical." 12 

The environmental plasticity of mental characters is so 
great that when the evidence is all in it will almost certainly 
show that the average differences between ethnic groups will 
be smaller than the amplitude of the differences to be found 
within each of the ethnic groups themselves. 

The brain does not secrete cultural or intellectual power 
in the same way that the liver secretes bile. One is not born 
with the ability to think brilliantly. Such an ability can be 
brought about only by exposure of the brain and nervous sys- 
tem to, and education in, the proper conditions. 

When Julius Caesar landed upon the shores of Britain in 
A. D. 52 he found the Britons at an Iron Age level of cultural 
development. Within one hundred years after the landing of 
Caesar these selfsame savage Britons were well on the way 

12 Klineberg, "Mental Testing of Racial and National Groups," in Scientific 
4spects of the Race Problem, p. 284. 


toward the development of a civilization culminating in that 
great cultural efflorescence which has been called the Greece 
of the modern world. Had Caesar not opened up to the Brit- 
ons the opportunities for cultural development when he did, 
the development of the Britons would have been greatly de- 
layed, and they might even have been wiped out altogether by 
invading hordes. At the time when Caesar set foot in Britain 
the African Negro kingdoms and their peoples were from the 
cultural standpoint in an incomparably more advanced state 
of development than the Britons, upon whom they might well 
have looked as a "primitive" people. Africa had long been in 
contact with peoples who had acted upon them as so many 
cultural fertilizing agents. The Britons had been isolated from 
the main course of such contacts until the time of Caesar, but 
as soon as he made such contacts available to them develop- 
ment followed with great rapidity. 

Were the brains of the Britons up to the time of Caesar's 
arrival made of such inferior stuff that they could only assume 
efficient qualities by the injection of new genes? Clearly, genes 
and brain had nothing to do with the matter; on the other 
hand, cultural stimulation had everything to do with the de- 
velopment which followed upon the Roman conquest. 

The English are today the most notoriously unmusical 
people of our age. Yet in Elizabethan times they were the 
most musical people in Europe. What has happened? Has the 
"musical part" of the English brain atrophied? Of course not. 
The cultural and economic development of the English has 
simply led in a direction away from such interests to other 
pursuits. Brain has nothing to do with the matter; culture 

In short, it is culture which makes "brains"; not brains cul- 
ture. If this were not so, then the Kaffirs and Amaxosa of 
Africa, who have few cultural opportunities but more brains 
by size than whites (Kaffirs 1,540 c.c. and Amaxosa 1,570 c.c.) 
would be culturally and intellectually superior to whites, as 
would the Japanese, 1,485 c.c.; the Eskimos, 1,535 c ' c - an d 
the Polynesians, 1,500 c.c. If we are to hold that the Negro is 


mentally inferior to the white because his brain has a volume 
of 50 c.c. less than that of the white, then by the same token 
we must hold that Kaffirs, Amaxosa, Japanese, and many 
other peoples are superior to whites. This we have reason to 
believe is untrue. There is no evidence that any people is 
mentally either superior or inferior to any other people in any 
way whatever. All that we know is that there exist considera- 
ble cultural differences between peoples and that these cul- 
tural differences are readily to be explained upon purely his- 
torical grounds, not upon any biological ones. 

Differences in brain size have about as much relation to in- 
telligence and cultural achievement as differences in body 
size; that is to say, within the limits of normal variation ab- 
solutely none, either between groups of individuals or be- 
tween individuals of the same group. In short, the concept of 
"race" which holds that the physical differences between peo- 
ples are reflections of underlying significant mental differ- 
ences is a concept which, on the existing evidence, cannot be 
scientifically substantiated. It is a myth and a delusion. 

The average person in our society observes that certain 
other persons belonging to different ethnic groups possess 
physical and mental traits which differ from his own. He con- 
cludes that these physical and mental traits are somehow 
linked together, that these traits are inborn, and that they are 
immutable. 13 Vague notions about a unilinear evolution 
"from monkey to man" encourage him to believe that such 
"races" are "lower" in the "scale" of evolution than is the 
group to which he belongs. From some such starting point as 
Pithecanthropus erectus he envisages a continuous progres- 
sion upward, culminating in the development of his own 
"race" or group. Between Pithecanthropus and himself stand, 
in an intermediate position, all the other peoples of mankind. 
"Race" is a very definite entity to him, and all the intellectual 

is "We are apt to construct ideal local types which are based on our every- 
day experience, abstracted from a combination of forms that are most fre- 
quently seen in a given locality, and we forget that there are numerous in- 
dividuals for whom this description does not hold true." Boas, "Race and 
Progress/' Science, LXXIV (1931), i. 


supports for his conception of it are ready at hand; newspa- 
pers, periodicals, books, the radio, publicists, politicians, and 
others all tell him much the same story. The significance of 
"race" for him emotionally is, as we shall soon see, of consid- 
erable importance. Therefore "race'* exists. Such is the con- 
ception of "race" with which we have to reckon. We have seen 
that there are no scientific grounds for this conception. 


No ACTIVITY of man, whether it be the making of a book, 
the contraction of a muscle, the manufacture of a brick, 
the expression of an idea, or the writing of a work such 
as this, can be fully understood without a knowledge of the 
history of that activity in so far as it has been socially deter- 
mined. For, obviously, any neglect to take into consideration 
the relations of the social framework can only lead to a defec- 
tive understanding of such events. It should be clear that man 
develops in and through an environment that is social as well 
as physical. There is, perhaps, no subject and no event of 
which this is more conspicuously true than "race." I say 
"event/* because in a very definite sense it would be prefera- 
ble to speak of "race" as an "event" rather than as a word. 
Apart from the cells of a dead lexicographer's brain or the 
taxonomist's judgment, "race" in reality hardly ever func- 
tions as a word, but almost always as an event. In our society 
and it is within the universe of our society that I am speak- 
ing "race'- is not merely a word which one utters but also 
an event which one experiences. The word itself merely repre- 
sents a series of sounds which usually serve as a stimulus to set 
in motion a host of feelings and thoughts which, together, 
form an emotional experience; this, for most people, is what 
"race" is. 1 It seems to be of the greatest importance that this 
fact be clearly understood, and in this chapter an attempt will 
be made, among other things, to inquire into the develop- 
ment of those psychological factors which tend to make this 
event possible; that such psychological factors exist is indis- 
putably clear, but these factors are not as well known as they 
deserve to be. 

i For an interesting discussion of the meaning of the word along these lines 
see Hayakawa, "Race and Words," Common Sense, XII (1943), 231-35. 


"Race," in our society, is not a term which clearly and dis- 
passionately defines certain real conditions which can be dem- 
onstrated to exist, but, as I have already said, the word acts 
more as a stimulus which touches off a series of emotional 
changes that usually bear as much relation to the facts as bees 
do to bonnets. Feelings and thoughts concerning such a con- 
cept as "race" are real enough, and so, it may be pointed out, 
are feelings and thoughts concerning the existence of uni- 
corns, pixies, goblins, ghosts, satyrs, and Aryans. Endowing a 
feeling or a thought about something with a name and thereby 
imputing to that something a real existence is one of the oldest 
occupations of mankind. Man forces on nature the limitations 
of his own mind and identifies his view of reality with reality 
itself. Pixies, ghosts, satyrs, and Aryans, and the popular con- 
ception of "race" represent real enough notions, but they 
have their origin in erroneous interpretations of simple facts. 
Error, imagination, emotion, and rationalization are among 
the chief components of these notions. Facts, it should always 
be remembered, do not speak for themselves, but always 
through an interpreter. The word "fact" (facere) originally 
meant a thing made; we still make our own "facts," but fail 
to realize how much of ourselves we put into them. 

It is not my purpose here to show that concepts denoted by 
such terms as "ghost" or "race" do not, in the sense in which 
they are commonly used and understood, correspond to any- 
thing scientifically demonstrable as having a real existence. 
Madame de Stael once remarked, "I do not believe in ghosts, 
but I am afraid of them." Intellectually convinced of the non- 
existence of ghosts, Madame de Stael nonetheless reacted emo- 
tionally to the notion of ghosts for all the world as if they had 
a real existence. Most of us are familiar with this kind of re- 
action, and it is evident that in her early childhood Madame 
de Stael must have been emotionally conditioned in relation 
to the idea of the existence of ghosts to such an extent that as 
an adult she was quite unable to throw off the effects of that 
conditioning. This is what occurs in the case of most human 
beings with regard to "race." As Mussolini put it in his pre- 


racist days, "race is a feeling, not a reality/' 2 There can be 
little doubt of the fact that in many parts of the world most 
children are early emotionally conditioned to a belief in the 
existence of "race" differences. 8 In many parts of Europe, for 
example, where the larger number of troubles of State and 
person have traditionally been attributed to the Jews, such 
attributions can hardly have failed to escape the attention of 
most children. Indeed, they usually become aware very early 
that hostility tow r ard Jews is a socially sanctioned, even re- 
quired, form of behavior. Such children would grow up to 
accept the existence of imputed "race" differences as real and 
would act upon such beliefs almost automatically. But just as 
Madame de Stael became intellectually convinced that ghosts 
do not exist in spite of the acknowledged strength of the emo- 
tion attached to the idea, so, too, it is quite possible to produce 
an intellectual appreciation of the nature of their error among 
those who have been emotionally conditioned to accept the 
mythology of "race" as real. Indeed, nearly all of us have been 
so emotionally conditioned, and many of us have been more 
or less able to emancipate ourselves from the effects of such 
conditioning by becoming acquainted with the facts relating 
to these matters. Hence, one of the first requirements neces- 
sary for the production in the individual of an intelligent 
understanding of "race" problems must be the existence of a 
readily available body of scientific facts relating to every as- 
pect of the "race" problem for use in the education or reedu- 
cation of the individual. Moreover, these facts must be used, 
and they must be made available in a form for use. Science and 
knowledge are meaningless unless they can be applied in a 
practical way to increase human happiness. 4 The dispassionate 
and scientific collection and analysis of facts is of the first im- 
portance, but the end of such activities should not rest with 
their publication in learned journals. The ultimate purpose 
of these scientific activities must be recognized as having been 

2 Mussolini, quoted by Rene" Fulop-Miller, Leaders, Dreamers and Rebels, 
p. 422. 

On this subject see Lasker, Race Attitudes in Children. 
* See Montagu, How to Find Happiness and Keep It. 


defeated unless the most pertinent results are disseminated in 
such a manner as to increase the understanding of these mat- 
ters in every human being. 

I am not among those who consider that all who at present 
appear to be hopelessly confused upon the subject of "race" 
are beyond redemption. This seems to be an altogether gra- 
tuitous assumption. I believe that methods can be developed 
by means of which many persons who now harbor myths and 
delusions concerning "race" may be reached and redeemed. 
Through the press, periodicals, popular lectures, books, the 
film, the radio, the Church, and many similar agencies mil- 
lions of misguided individuals can have the truth made avail- 
able to them. 

But far more important than these is the growing genera- 
tion. It is through the lower and upper grade schools that the 
most significant work can be done in clarifying the minds of 
individuals concerning the facts relating to the varieties of 
man and in educating them in the proper mental attitudes. 8 
Let us teach geography, but instead of presenting the subject 
in the usual arid manner let us humanize its teaching and 
furnish its field with the living peoples who inhabit the earth. 
Let us teach our children what we know about the peoples of 
the earth and about their respective values for one another 
and for civilization as a whole. Let us emphasize their like- 
nesses and create interest in their differences, differences 
which enrich the common heritage of humanity and make 
the world the richly variegated experience it can be. Let us 
teach appreciation of the other person's point of view, the 
more so since if it is unlike our own it will require more sym- 
pathetic appreciation if it is to be understood. Relations be- 
tween other human beings and ourselves form the most im- 
portant of all the experiences and situations of our lives. 
Nevertheless, in our society human beings are permitted to 
enter into such relations without being equipped with the 
most elementary understanding of what they mean. No at- 
tempt is made to supply them with the facts relating to "race" 

See Appendix A; also Powdermaker, Probing Our Prejudices. 


as demonstrated by science, on the contrary they are supplied 
with the kind of information which makes fertile ground for 
the development of "race" prejudices. 6 

Prejudices early acquired are notoriously difficult to eradi- 
cate. What must be done is to see to it that instead of such 
prejudices the growing personalities in our schools are taught 
the facts which anthropological science has made available. 
Our children must be taught that a certain form of nose or a 
certain skin color is in the physical scale of values neither bet- 
ter nor worse than any other; that the accents of different peo- 
ple, their manners, their facial appearance, their expression 
like the clothes they wear are not necessarily altogether bio- 
logically determined, that they are, indeed, to a much larger 
extent than is customarily supposed determined by cultural 
factors. They must be taught that there is nothing in such 
characters which is inherently objectionable. For it should be 
obvious that, though some of us may not be particularly at- 
tracted to people who exhibit a certain type of physiognomy, 
the cause of our dislike lies, not in their physiognomy, but in 
the values, the culturally determined ideas, in our own minds 
which have taught us to react in this way to the perception of 
such physiognomies. The causes of such dislikes must be 
looked for, in the cultura background of one's intellectual 
being, not in the shape of the nose or the color of the skin of 
our neighbors. Physical differences are merely the pegs upon 
which culturally generated hostilities are made to hang, end- 
ing with the smug and empty conviction that a superior 
"race" is one that you look like and an inferior "race" is one 
that you don't look like. Here, then, is a most important field 
in which a great and valuable pioneer work remains to be 
done. Academic discussions will not carry us very far. We 
must be willing to roll up our sleeves and set to work on this 
immense, virtually untilled field. 7 

See Baker, "Do We Teach Racial Intolerance?" Historical Outlook, XXIV 
(iQSS). 86-89. 

t The type of teaching which can be carried out in the schools is very effi- 
ciently discussed and exemplified in the Teaching Biologist, IX (1939), 17-47. 
See Appendix A for an account of the kind of teaching most needed in our 


Community projects for the teaching of the sympathetic 
understanding of other peoples and ethnic groups, such as 
that inaugurated in 1939 m Springfield, Massachusetts, which 
is being successfully carried on at the present time, have dem- 
onstrated how successfully "race" prejudice can be overcome. 
Treated like any other disease "race" prejudice can be pre- 
vented where it has not yet raised its head and eliminated 
where it has. Each community should make itself responsible 
for ridding itself of a disease which has for too long threatened 
its body politic, by seeing to it that the community as a whole 
thinks and acts, in its own best interests, in the light of the 
soundest modern knowledge and the best human practice. 8 
Where there is a desire for just action it will be achieved, and 
where there is more than a hope of clarity, confusion will 
yield. In passing, it may be noted here that where clear think- 
ing upon this subject might have been expected to be the rule 
in the social sciences the confusion is often quite as great 
as it is elsewhere. 9 

One of the first points to be grasped before much progress 
in this subject can be made is that as far as human beings and 
as far as society and social development are concerned "race" 
is not a biological problem at all; furthermore, that it does 
not even present any socially relevant biological problems. 
"Race" is a term for a problem which is created by special 
types of social conditions and by such types of special condi- 
tions alone. In terms of social relations so-called "race prob- 
lems" are, in the modern world, essentially of the nature of 
caste problems. 


We must recognize the fact that in our own society the "race 
problem" is essentially a problem of social relations and that 
it is, therefore, fundamentally a social problem. 

schools as successfully practiced in the community schools of Springfield, 

s HOW this has been done at Springfield, Massachusetts, is set out in some 
detail in Appendix A. 

Berry, "The Concept of Race in Sociology Textbooks," Social Forces, XVIII 
(1940), 411-17. 


In the social context of America, to take an example with 
which we are all familiar, what is usually referred to as a 
"race" or "racial" group, in reality constitutes a caste. Thus, 
Negroes, Jews, Japanese, and Indians are in actual practice 
treated by dominant white groups as if they were members 
of specific castes. 

A caste may be defined as a specific, socially limited-status 
group. The function of the limiting factors of caste are, in 
effect, primarily to create barriers against sexual relations be- 
tween members of the hegemonic caste and those of the "lower 
castes/' and, secondarily, to regulate the social status, privi- 
leges, and social mobility of the members of the "lower 

A "class" differs from a "caste" in that a greater degree of 
social mobility is, in all respects, permitted between the mem- 
bers of the upper and the lower social classes than is permitted 
between castes. The caste is static, the class dynamic. 

When we speak of the "race problem in America," what we 
really mean is the caste system and the problems which that 
caste system creates in America. 10 To recognize this fact is to 
effect a clarification and a change in conceptual approach to 
a problem upon which, perhaps more than any other in our 
time, clear thinking and accurate concepts are an urgent nec- 

It has recently been suggested that "the term race should be 
discarded entirely in the cultural reference, and the more ap- 
propriate term caste employed in its stead." u With this view 
I am in entire agreement. There can be no cultural "races"; 
there can only be cultural castes. But when it is added that 
"the term race should be retained in its biologic context as 

10 The same is true for most other areas of the world: see Beaglehole, "Race, 
Caste and Class," Journal of the Polynesian Society, LXII (1943), 1-11: Hum- 
phrey, "American Race and Caste," Psychiatry, IV (1941), 159-60; Montagu, 
"Race, Caste and Scientific Method/' Psychiatry, IV (1941), 337-38; Dollard, 
Caste and Class in a Southern Town; Warner and Davis, "A Comparative Study 
of American Caste," in Thompson (editor), Race Relations and the Race Prob- 
lem, pp. 219-45; Davis, Gardner, and Gardner, Deep South; a Social Anthropo- 
logical Study of Caste and Class. 

11 Humphrey, "American Race and Caste," Psychiatry, IV (1941), 159-60. 


a taxonomic category for the delineation of types of man- 
kind," we must, as the lawyers say, put in a demurrer, for the 
error committed here is that of all those who assume that be- 
cause a word or a concept exists there must necessarily be a 
reality to which that word or concept corresponds. It is the 
error of assuming that while the term "race" has no validity 
as a sociological concept, it does possess an established valid- 
ity as a biological concept with reference to the human spe- 

Let us consider a little further what the meaning of this 
term, in the social sense, really is. In countries such as Eng- 
land, France, Germany, and Spain, in which class distinctions 
are well marked and there exist no significantly large ethnic 
groups other than the dominant national population, "race" 
prejudice is replaced by class prejudice. In fact, there is 
scarcely any difference between the two phenomena. Almost 
every condition found in the one is to be found in the other, 
even down to the imputed biological differences. The upper 
classes make much of "breeding," of "good family" or "birth" 
or "ancestry," and will not, generally, marry out of their class 
or "quality." To marry out of one's class is to lose caste, not 
only socially but also biologically, for such a person's children 
can belong only to the class of the "inferior" parent. There 
are, of course, exceptions, but this is the rule. This rule is 
strictly applied to women, but hardly at all to men. The 
upper-class male elevates the woman he chooses to marry to 
his own class; the lower-class male reduces his wife and chil- 
dren to his own class. The biology and stratification of the 
classes is patrilineally determined, that is to say, they operate 
through and in favor of the male line. This is not the case 
where ethnic crossing is concerned, and it constitutes one of 
the few differences between the workings of class and "race" 
prejudice. Thus, for example, should an upper-class white 
male marry a Negroid female, the offspring will, in the United 
States at least, belong to the class of the mother, not to that 
of the father's family. 

Among the strongest supporters of the view that the upper 


classes are not only socially but biologically superior to the 
lower classes are those who have themselves recently migrated 
into the ranks of the upper classes from the ranks of the lower 
classes. Success in life is held to be not so much a matter of 
social opportunity as of biological quality. Such views deter- 
mine the attitudes of members of the upper classes toward 
those of the lower classes, and vice versa. 

It should be fairly evident that in societies in which there 
is an extreme division of men into classes whose interests are 
necessarily opposed and in which the means of earning a liv- 
ing, the economic system, is organized upon an extremely 
competitive basis, there will be abundant opportunities for 
class or "race" antagonisms. This is a matter with which we 
shall deal in the next chapter. 

The point I wish to bring out here is that "race" prejudice 
is merely a special case of class prejudice, a prejudice that will 
be developed, under certain conditions, where different eth- 
nic groups are thrown together in significant numbers. In the 
absence of such conditions or in the absence of a variety of 
ethnic groups the prejudices of the upper classes against all 
members of the lower classes and their conduct toward the 
members of such classes will, in almost every respect, take the 
form which is usually associated with "race" prejudice. Wher- 
ever classes exist, there exists class prejudice. It is significant 
that in a classless society, such as is comprised by the Soviet 
republics, "race" prejudice is nonexistent. In socially strati- 
fied class societies the shift from class prejudice to "race" pre- 
judice is very easily achieved and, in fact, amounts to little 
more than a change of names, for the "race" against which 
prejudice is now especially focussed is but another class or 
caste, even though it may be regarded as something substan- 
tially different. 

In the case of the American Negro it is necessary to under- 
stand that the original difference in his status was one ol caste, 
not of biology. It was only later that the alleged biological 
differences were attached to the difference in caste. An African 
or American Negro would be enslaved in virtue of the fact 
that he belonged to the slave class, not biologically, but so- 


cially. American Indians were not enslaved, because they had 
established themselves as a class which did not adapt itself to 
slavery. White men, however, could be bought and sold if they 
belonged to the class born to servitude, the lowest class. The 
status of a Negro could be recognized at once by the color of 
his skin, which was a great convenience, but nothing more 
than that. It was only afterward that the obvious physical dif- 
ference was utilized to reenforce the strength of the arguments 
in favor of the necessity of continuing the depressed social 
status of the Negro. 

Thus, in the case of peoples showing any physical differ- 
ences which distinguished them from the dominant class or 
caste, the mechanism of exclusion works both ways: one may 
oppose such peoples on the ground of their social inferiority, 
and one may oppose them on the ground of their biological 
inferiority, the physical differences being taken to signify the 
latter. One may then proceed to adopt the view that such peo- 
ples are socially inferior because they are physically or biologi- 
cally inferior, and since the physical or biological difference is 
constant, the social difference will always remain so. Thus, 
one may not only have one's cake and cut it into thin slices, 
but eat it too. 

Professors Hogben, Haddon, Huxley, and myself 12 enter- 
tain no doubts as to the present meaninglessness of the older 
anthropological conception of "race." We do not consider 
that any of the existing concepts of "race" correspond to any 
reality whatever; but we do consider that the persistence of 
the term and of the concept has been responsible for much 
confused thinking and, what is worse, has rendered possible 
much confused and confusing action resulting in the most 
tragic consequences for millions of human beings. It is for 
these reasons that a number of us, as biologists, have recently 
urged that the term "race" be altogether dropped from the 

12 Hogben, "The Concept of Race," in his Genetic Principles in Medicine 
and Social Science/' pp. 122-44; Huxley and Haddon, We Europeans; Huxley, 
"The Concept of Race," in Man Stands Alone, pp. 106-26; Montagu "The 
Concept of Race in the Light of Genetics," Journal of Heredity, XXXII (1941), 
243-47; "The Genetical Theory of Race and Anthropological Method," Amer- 
ican Anthropologist, XLIV (1942), 369-75; see also Barzun, Race; a Study in 
Modern Superstition. 


vocabulary. If we do no more than relegate this term to the 
oblivion to which it properly belongs, this would in itself 
serve as a contribution toward clear thinking, 13 for what is 
implied in the anthropological and popular conceptions of 
"race" represents an egregious and dangerous congeries of 

Huxley has suggested that "it would be highly desirable if 
we could banish the question-begging term 'race' from all dis- 
cussions of human affairs and substitute the noncommital 
phrase 'ethnic group.' That would be a first step towards ra- 
tional consideration of the problem at issue/' 14 

Since Huxley does not venture a definition of an "ethnic 
group/' the definition I have already proposed may be re- 
peated: An ethnic group represents one of a number of popu- 
lations, which together comprise the species Homo sapiens, 
but individually maintain their differences, physical and cul- 
tural, by means of isolating mechanisms such as geographic 
and social barriers. These differences will vary as the power of 
the geographic and social ecologic barriers vary. Where 
these barriers are of low power, neighboring ethnic groups 
will intergrade or hybridize with one another. Where these 
barriers are of high power, such ethnic groups will tend to 
remain distinct from each other or replace each other geo- 
graphically or ecologically. 

From this definition or description of an ethnic group it 
will be seen that the problem of ethnic variation is really an 
ecological problem and may ultimately, to a considerable ex- 
tent, be resolved to the problem of the physical mobility of 
populations and the consequences resulting therefrom. Thus, 
the problem of ethnic variation falls very definitely within 
the purview of the student of the social life of man. 

One of the important advantages of the term ethnic group 13 
is that it eliminates all question-begging emphases on physi- 

13 Precisely as was done in the case of the term "instinct," the banishment of 
which from psychological thought has had a most beneficial effect upon the 
development of the science of psychology. 

i* Huxley, "The Concept of Race," in Man Stands Alone, p. 126. 

i The term "ethnic" is derived from the Greek ffoov ethnos, meaning a 


cal factors or differences and leaves that question completely 
open, while the emphasis is now shifted to the fact though 
it is not restricted to it that man is predominantly a cultural 
creature. The change in emphasis seems to me highly desira- 
ble. It does not exclude the consideration of the possible sig- 
nificance of physical characters, but it leaves the question of 
the latter open for further dispassionate analysis, omitting any 
suggestion that the physical factors are determined, fixed, or 
definable or that they are in any way connected with mental 
or cultural factors. This is not simply to replace one term by 
another, but represents a definite shift in emphasis based 
upon a fundamental difference in point of view. It is the point 
of view of the person who is anxious to avoid the consequences 
of thinking in "fuzzy" terms. 

If, then, we can replace the outmoded concept of "race" by 
the concept of the ethnic group, we shall have secured a real 
clarification and change in conceptual approach to a problem 
whose importance requires no emphasis here. The sociologist 
will then be able to proceed with the study of the problem of 
caste, intra- and inter-socially, with the clear consciousness of 
the fact that, as far as he is concerned the problem is entirely 
a social problem and that for him, at any rate, it has no bio- 
logical relevance at all, but that, in so far as it is necessary for 
him to take cognizance of the biological evidence, the old 
concept of "race" has no more scientific justification for use in 
the field of human biology than it has in the field of human 

In short, the term "race" should be discarded entirely in 
the cultural reference, and the more appropriate term "caste" 
should be employed in its stead; while the term "race 11 should 
be replaced by the term "ethnic group" in the biologic or 
ecologic context and should not be used in any human con- 
text whatever. 

number of people living together, a company, a body of men. In the Iliad 
Homer variously uses the word to mean a band of comrades, a tribe, a group. 
Pindar uses it in the sense of a family, tribe, nation, or people. 



THE PROBLEM of the origin and development of different 
physical types is part of the larger problem of discover- 
ing how we all came to be the way we are; that, too, is 
a social problem, and only arbitrarily and in a very limited 
technical sense is it a biological problem. Man is outstand- 
ingly the one animal species in which "biological" develop- 
ment has, from the very earliest times, been substantially in- 
fluenced by the operation of social factors and this, ever 
increasingly, continues to be the case. The biological devel- 
opment of man cannot be considered apart from his social 
development, for man is a domesticated, a self-domesticated, 
animal, 1 and domestication is a social or cultural process by 
means of which biological changes are produced in animals. 
Such changes, to a certain extent, represent the socially pre- 
ferred expression of genetic rearrangements of characters 
common to the whole of mankind. The chief agencies in the 
production of such changes are social, but the scientific study 
of such social agencies has hardly yet been attempted. Thus 
far, the emphasis has for the most part been upon the biologi- 
cal aspect of such changes, while there has been an almost 
complete failure to recognize their socially induced origin. 

The biological aspects of the subject are important, but 
only in so far as they render possible an understanding of the 

i Upon this important subject, in which far too little original work has yet 
been done, see the following: Hahn, Die Haustiere; Klatt, "Mendelismus, 
Domestikation und Kraniologie," Archiv. /. Anthrop., N.F., XVIII (1921), 
225-50; Friedenthal, "Die Sonderstellung des Menschen in der Natur," in 
Wege zum Wissen, Vol. VIII; Fischer, "Rasse und Rassenentstehung beim 
Menschen," Wege zum Wissen, LXII, 1-137; Laufer, "Methods in the Study of 
Domestications," Scientific Monthly, XXV (1927), 251-55; Herskovits, "Social 
Selection and the Formation of Human Types," Human Biology, I (1929), 250- 
62; Renard, Life and Work in Prehistoric Times; Boas, The Mind of Primitive 
Man, pp. 74-98; Boas (editor), General Anthropology, p. 108; Fortuyn, "The 
Origin of Human Races," Science, XC (1939), 352-53; Montagu, "The Socio- 
Biology of Man/* Scientific Monthly, L (1940), 483-90. 


physiological and genetic mechanisms underlying the actual 
process of change. R. A. Fisher has remarked: "While genetic 
knowledge is essential for the clarity it introduces into the 
subject, the causes of the evolutionary changes in progress 
can only be resolved by an appeal to sociological, and even 
historical facts. These should at least be sufficiently available 
to reveal the more powerful agencies at work in the modifica- 
tion of mankind." 2 When the mechanism of these physio- 
logical and genetic changes is understood, it is then fully 
realized that "race" is a term which refers to a process repre- 
senting a series of genetically active temporary conditions, 
always in process of change. It then becomes clear that the 
stage at which one catches this process depends upon the seg- 
ment of time which one arbitrarily delimits from the space- 
time continuum in which the process is occurring. Neither 
"races" of men nor "races" of lower animals are immutable; 
they seem to become so, but then only conceptually, when an 
anthropologist or a taxonomist follows the traditional prac- 
tice of pinning his specimens down for study and classifica- 
tion. It is erroneous to conceive of any animal group, particu- 
larly human groups, as static and immutable. It is an error 
to do so in the case of man in particular, because the facts of 
prehistory and those of more recent times indicate that new 
"races" of man have been and are being synthesized very rap- 
idly. In this process social factors play a very important role. 
Upon recognizing this fact we must further recognize that in 
our own society the problem of "race" is essentially a problem 
of caste and class relations and that it is, of course, funda- 
mentally a social problem. 

In our own society explanations of the "race" problem have 
been offered in terms of economic forces, social stratification, 
biological differences, or all three. Such explanations have 
never been altogether convincing. The causes motivating hu- 
man behavior are complex, and human behavior is hardly 
ever to be explained in terms of single processes, which in 
themselves are complicated enough, such as the economic, 

2 Fisher, The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection, p. 174. 


the biological, or the purely sociological. In all cases, in order 
to understand the nature of any event it is necessary to dis- 
cover and to relate all the conditions entering into its pro- 
duction; in other words, what is required is a specification of 
all the necessary conditions which together form the sufficient 
cause of the event into whose nature we are inquiring. 

While it may be true, for instance, that certain conditions 
arising out of our present economic organization of society are 
responsible for maintaining and exacerbating the problem of 
"race," it is by no means certain that a reorganization of our 
economic system would automatically result in a solution of 
that problem, although it is more than probable that it would 
help. It is quite conceivable that "race" problems may exist 
under ideal economic conditions. These problems, indeed, 
are by no means simple, and it is therefore necessary to ap- 
proach them by the use of such methods as are most calcu- 
lated to clarify them. It would obviously be an egregious 
error to approach the study of "race" from the standpoint of 
the economic determinant alone, precisely as it would be an 
error to approach its study from the viewpoint solely of biol- 
ogy or of sociology. And this brings us to what I consider to be 
an extremely important methodological aspect of this whole 
situation. It is the matter of the person who discusses the subject 
of "race." Hitherto, practically anyone with the ability to de- 
velop a hoarse throat, with arrogance in place of erudition, 
has been able to set himself up as an authority on "race." We 
need only recall the names of Gobineau, Stoddard, Houston 
Stewart Chamberlain, Madison Grant, Adolf Hitler, and 
others, to discover that the principal equipment necessary to 
qualify one as an authority on "race" consists in a well- 
rounded ignorance, a considerable amount of maliciousness, 
and an unshakable confidence. To listen to such "tangled 
oracles which ignorantly guide" is to suffer a positive increase 
in one's ignorance. In the universe of science the situation, 
though incomparably better, is not by any means as we have 
already seen all that could be desired. Until very recently 


very little progress has been made in the scientific study of 
"race." This has been chiefly due to the fact that the subject 
has been dealt with in piecemeal manner and by specialists 
with an insufficient grasp of the complexities of the subject. 
Thus, psychologists have failed to take into account the so- 
ciological and biological factors; while sociologists have failed 
to give adequate consideration to the psychological and bio- 
logical factors. Finally, and worst of all, the physical anthro- 
pologists have restricted their studies almost entirely to the 
morphological aspects of the subject. There are, of course, a 
few outstanding students, such as Boas 3 and Klineberg, 4 who 
have attempted to take cognizance of all the necessary factors. 
Actually, what we need is more students who will combine the 
best qualities of the psychologist, the sociologist, and the biol- 
ogist. Such a combination of qualities is scarcely realized in 
the modern anthropologist, who treats man as if he were con- 
stituted of two distinct and separate universes, a social and a 
physical, each of which is considered to be the proper field of 
study of one who qualifies by agreeing to know nothing about 
the other. 

Since, as I have already pointed out, facts do not speak for 
themselves, but are at the mercy of whosoever chooses to give 
them a meaning, it is obviously of the first importance that the 
meaning which they shall receive be given them by thinkers 
who have made themselves thoroughly acquainted with those 
facts. As Vice-President Henry A. Wallace has said, "For the 
combating of 'racism' before it sinks its poison fangs deep in 
our body politic, the scientist has both a special motive and a 
special responsibility. His motive comes from the fact that 
when personal liberty disappears scientific liberty also dis- 
appears, His responsibility comes from the fact that only he 
can give the people the truth. Only he can clean out the falsi- 
ties which have been masquerading under the name of sci- 
ence in our colleges, our high schools and our public prints. 

a Boas, The Mind of Primitive Man and Race, Language and Culture. 
* Klineberg, Race Differences. 


Only he can show how groundless are the claims that one race, 
one nation, or one class has any God-given right to rule/' 5 

In the modern world racial problems, as I have already 
pointed out, are essentially social problems. But no sociologist 
can ever hope to assist in the solution of these problems with- 
out acquiring an adequate understanding of what the biolo- 
gist, the psychologist, and the psychoanalyst can alone supply, 
namely, an appreciation of the nature of the fundamental 
facts of physical and mental development. Obviously, what 
we need is more human ecologists, liaison officers between the 
sciences of man. 6 Such human ecologists are at present pitifully 


No one will deny that our society is a socially stratified one, 
and there are few students of society who would deny that so- 
cial stratification is determined principally by the manner in 
which our society works economically. The proof of this lies 
in the fact that it is usually possible to migrate from one social 
stratum to another only by means of the economic process. By 
the acquisition of economic power, one rises in the social hier- 
archy; by the loss of economic power, one falls. Groups and 
individuals who are denied effective participation in the eco- 
nomic process clearly cannot rise above the lower social strata, 
while the only way to exclude groups and individuals who 
have not been denied an effective participation in the eco- 
nomic process from rising and maintaining their places so- 
cially is to erect barriers against them, to deprive them, in vari- 
ous ways, of their economic rights. We need hardly go farther 
back than our own time for the evidence with which to prove 

6 Wallace, The Genetic Basis for Democracy, New York, American Com- 
mittee for Democracy and Intellectual Freedom, 1939, p. 7. See also Wallace, 
"Racial Theories and the Genetic Basis for Democracy," Science, LXXXIX 
(1939), 140-43. 

6 For a detailed discussion of this aspect of the subject see Montagu, "A 
Cursory Examination of the Relations between Physical and Social Anthro- 
pology," Arner. J. Phys. Anthrop., XXVI (1940), 41-61; "Physical Anthropology 
and Anatomy," Amer. J. Phys. Anthrop., XXVIII (1941), 861-71. 


the truth of this statement. In the parts of Europe under Nazi 
rule we have witnessed the deliberate creation of such a bar- 
rier in the form of a mythological "racial" dogma which has 
been imposed upon whole peoples a dogma which, in opera- 
tion as a barrier, deprives all those who are not mythical 
"Aryans" of the right to earn a living and to keep even the 
little which they have. No more telling or painful example 
than this could be cited of the blatant economic motivation 
underlying the creation and practice of this mythology which 
so effectively leads to the social and economic disfranchise- 
ment of helpless groups. In the United States there are several 
perfect examples which may be cited as illustrating the rela- 
tionship between the economic factor and the presence of ra- 
cial barriers. Along the Pacific coast, where the Japanese and 
the Chinese constituted an appreciable competitive group, 
there was considerable "race" prejudice against them. With 
the increase in the number of Filipinos entering the United 
States within recent years, despite the heroic resistance of 
their compatriots against the Japanese in the Philippines and 
their loyalty to America, the feeling is being rapidly trans- 
ferred to them. 7 Along the Atlantic coast, where the numbers 
of these ethnic groups are comparatively small and they can- 
not possibly be conceived to constitute economic competitors, 
there has been relatively little prejudice against them, apart 
from that which has been generated by the war. Similarly, in 
California, when American Indians were numerous there was 
a great deal of prejudice against them. In the Middle West, 
where Indians are relatively few and under "control," there 
is very little prejudice against them. In the East a trace of 
Indian ancestry definitely constitutes prestige value, for In- 

7 "Unwanted Heroes," The New Republic, CVI (1942), 655; McWilliams, 
Brothers under the Skin. It is sad to have to record the fact that in the third 
week of September 1944 the Fourth Filipino Inter-Community convention held 
at New City, California, adopted as two of its objectives "the abolition of 
remaining discriminatory legislation against Filipinos" and "permanent post- 
war exile of all Japanese from California" (reported in The Pacific Citizen, Salt 
Lake City, Utah, 23 September 1944, pp. 3-4. The Filipinos apparently regard 
the Japanese as serious economic competitors and desire to eliminate them by 
this means. Or are they simply exhibiting a desire to jump on the bandwagon 
of the most vocal California "patriots"? 


dians are so rare that they are almost worth their weight in 
genes. In areas such as the South, where the social status of the 
Negro is changing and he emerges as an economic competitor, 
the prejudices against the large population of Negroes con- 
stitutes a serious problem. In the North, where the economic 
situation is much better, the Negro has always enjoyed a much 
greater degree of social and economic freedom. In England, 
where there are extremely few Negroes or Indians, there is 
very little active prejudice against these peoples; but as soon 
as an Englishman goes to Africa or to India, where he observes 
that the native peoples definitely "threaten" his own inter- 
ests and those of his own people, he almost invariably de- 
velops the usual "racial" prejudices. 

Without in the least underestimating the important part 
which economic factors play in the creation of "race" prej- 
udice in Western society generally, it may be observed that 
there is no absolutely necessary or sufficient relationship be- 
tween economic conditions and "racial" problems. Just as it 
is possible to conceive of difficult racial problems existing 
under ideal economic conditions, so it is quite possible to con- 
ceive of perfect ethnic relations and mutual appreciation un- 
der the most difficult economic conditions. The Soviet Union 
is the outstanding example of perfect management of ethnic 
group relations under, what were at one time at least, unusu- 
ally difficult economic conditions. 8 It simply happens to be 

8 In the Soviet Union "a determined stand has been taken against race 
discrimination. The rational belief in the complete equality of all races has 
become the official creed, and energetic educational efforts are being made to 
raise the social and economic conditions of the underprivileged races. Whereas 
in many parts of the world ruling classes or imperialist governments instigate 
or refrain from suppressing race conflict for reasons of hegemony or exploita- 
tion, communism helps to organize backward races in their struggle for 
political and economic advancement and liberation. This assistance contrasts 
with the attitude of many white labor and socialist groups among whom 
race interests are stionger than class interests. The help given to backward 
races by communists emanates not only from their identification of racial and 
class conflicts and from an alliance against the capitalist and imperial powers 
but also from the fundamental policy against race discrimination within the 
Soviet Union. Bolshevism continues, in a rationalize/! and secularized form, 
the stand of primitive Christianity against race discrimination: but the equali- 
tarian Soviet theory goes farther than most Christian agencies in tackling not 
only the psychological and emotional causes of race conflicts but also their 


the case that in our own society the regrettable discovery has 
been made that by utilizing the physical and cultural differ- 
ences which exist between groups and individuals, it is a rela- 
tively simple matter to disguise the motives and evade the 
consequences of one's own conduct by attributing existing 
and potential evils to the conduct of some other group or to 
utilize those differences for the most ignoble political pur- 
poses. Thus, by setting groups of people against one another 
attention is diverted from the real sources of evil. The dis- 
covery is actually a very old one. As a device for moving peo- 
ple it is extremely well grounded in that it caters to a deep- 
seated tendency in man to find some cause outside himself 
upon which to blame his troubles or release his feelings. 
Tertullian, for example, in pagan Rome was fully aware of the 
fact that the persecution of the Christian minority was merely 
being used as a device to sidetrack the attention of the people 
from the real causes of corruption within the Roman State. 
Says Tertullian, "if the Tiber rose to the walls of the city, if 
the inundation of the Nile failed to give the fields enough 
water, if the heavens did not send rain, if an earthquake oc- 
curred, if famine threatened, if pestilence raged, the cry re- 
sounded: 'Throw the Christians to the lions!* " In this man- 
ner the Roman populace was provided, as later peoples have 
been, with a socially sanctioned outlet for their pent-up feel- 
ings. And that is the important point to grasp about the nature 
of "race** prejudice, namely, that it is socially sanctioned and 
socially learned. It is a ready-made and culturally accepted 
outlet for various forms of hostility and feelings of frustration. 
In the South "race" hatred has long been kept alive and 
fanned to white heat at the instigation of unscrupulous indus- 
trialists and politicians, ever ready to capitalize on baseless 
popular superstitions, prejudices, and beliefs, because there 
is no issue more useful than "race" as a political platform for 

economic roots. The Soviet Union now is the only large area inhabited by 
many races, free, as far as governmental agencies are concerned, of any form 
of race prejudice." Kohn, "Race Conflict," Encyclopaedia of the Social Sci- 
ences, XIII, 40. See also Stern, "Soviet Policy on National Minorities," Ameri- 
can Sociological Review, IX (1944), 229-35. 


securing votes. Tell the poor whites that their condition is 
due to the competition of the Negroes and that their very 
existence is threatened by the latter, and they will vote for 
anything to which such an issue is tied in apparent favor of 
themselves. 9 The case is exactly the same in the Union of 
South Africa, where a comparatively small white population 
is attempting to protect its economic and social privileges 
against any incursions which might be made upon them by 
the large colored population, immigrants, and Jews. The Jews 
form only 4% per cent of the total population, and they have 
from the first proved themselves loyal and able citizens of 
the Union. What, then, is the reason for the prejudice against 
the Jews? Is it the fear of economic competition? In view of 
their small representation this can hardly be so. While they 
themselves do not constitute an economic problem, the prej- 
udice against them is utilized and, indeed, inspired by poli- 
ticians for economic purposes. In a recent sympathetic and 
penetrating study of the Union Lewis Sowden returns an 
answer to the question "Why prejudice against the Jews?" He 
writes: "Simply this, that South Africa, like most other coun- 
tries, has its Jewish problem kept alive by politicians for pur- 
poses of personal or party aggrandisement. The Nationalists 
used it in 1930 to strengthen their hold on the country and 
to embarrass General Smuts's opposition. Their Quota Act 

9 "There are millions of white and black men in the South, and their chil- 
dren, on blighted farms and in the slums, who live a more bearable life 
because of what the Roosevelt administration made possible. But these are the 
poor and the ignorant, and their race hate, kept alive for years just as Gov- 
ernor Dixon and the Alabama capitalists are keeping it alive now, makes them 
vulnerable. Of these millions of people whom the New Deal aided, the Ne- 
groes cannot vote; most of the whites who can have been poisoned by the 
propaganda of the reactionaries into a belief that the President and Mrs. 
Roosevelt are trying to wipe out all racial barriers under the war emergency; 
the Dixons are now in the saddle; they seem to be able to foster on the dis- 
franchised masses anything they want to; and once more in the South's sad 
history, just as in the Agrarian-Populist movement in the iSgo's, the people's 
enemies have taken over a people's movement. Once more the white man's 
fear of the Negro has made it possible. It is no mystery why the South's con- 
gressmen, elected by a small and privileged proportion of its population, fight 
so hard to defeat an anti-poll-tax bill; and it is no mystery, come to think of it, 
why reactionary Northern members, their blood brothers, by one subterfuge 
and another let them get away with it." Sancton, "Trouble in Dixie," The New 
Republic, CVIII (1943), 51. 


[aimed against the Jews] had the full support of their own 
people and many sympathisers among the other parties. Gen- 
eral Smuts's men could not effectively oppose it for fear of 
being accused as 'pro-Jewish/ fatal, of course, for any poli- 
tician." 10 

"Race" prejudice is easily generated in our society, because 
our society is socially and economically so organized as to be 
continually productive of frustrations in the individual; these 
in turn produce an aggressiveness for which the individual 
must find expression in some way. But the aggressiveness for 
which the individual must find release is not entirely pro- 
duced by economic factors. This, however, is a matter to which 
we shall return later. It should be obvious that the frustrative 
situations called into being by economic and social factors, 
while producing some aggressiveness in the individual, do not 
in themselves and need not necessarily lead to "race" preju- 
dice. That the aggressiveness produced by such factors may 
lead to "race" prejudice is entirely to be explained by the 
fact that "race" prejudice constitutes a socially sanctioned and 
a socially directed means of releasing aggressiveness. The ag- 
gressiveness may in part be produced by socio-economic fac- 
tors, but the form of the response which that aggressiveness 
takes is not necessarily linked with such factors. Alternative 
responses are available, but "race" prejudice is among the 
easiest and the psychologically most satisfying. Merton has 
described the frustrative situation very effectively. He writes: 
"It is only when a system of cultural values extols, virtually 
above all else, certain common symbols of success for the popu- 
lation at large, while its social structure rigorously restricts 
or completely eliminates access to approved modes of acquir- 
ing these symbols for a considerable part of the same popula- 
tion, that antisocial behavior ensues on a considerable scale. 
In other words, our egalitarian ideology denies by implication 
the existence of noncompeting groups and individuals in the 
pursuit of pecuniary success. The same body of success-symbols 
is held to be desirable for all. These goals are held to tran- 

loSowden, The Union of South Africa, p. 216. 


scend class lines, not to be bound by them, yet the actual social 
organization is such that there exist class differentials in the 
accessibility of these common success-symbols. Frustration and 
thwarted aspiration lead to the search for avenues of escape 
from a culturally induced intolerable situation; or unrelieved 
ambition may eventuate in illicit attempts to acquire the 
dominant values. The American stress on pecuniary success 
and ambitiousness for all thus invites exaggerated anxieties, 
hostilities, neuroses and anti-social behavior." n 

The avenue of escape from such frustrative conditions is 
almost always the same, through aggressiveness. The object 
to which that aggressiveness may attach itself is culturally 
determined by what is rendered culturally available. "Race** 
represents a cultural misunderstanding of certain facts, but 
from the point of view of the psyche of the individual it pre- 
sents a most satisfactory solution of a particular problem, 
affording, as it does, both a convenient and a suitable release 
object for aggressiveness. It should, however, be clearly under- 
stood that the misunderstanding is cultural in origin, not 
economic. The conception of "race" is a cultural artifact and 
does not in itself lead to "race" prejudice. What leads to 
"race" prejudice is the cultural manipulation of those psycho- 
physical energies which, in most persons, overtly find expres- 
sion in some form of aggressiveness, no matter what the nature 
of the underlying motivation for that manipulation may be. 
Economic factors represent but one group of conditions and 
these are of the greatest importance by means of which such 
aggressiveness may be called forth under conditions and in 
situations in which it may be easily attached to "race." Eco- 
nomic factors, in our society, are certainly among the most 
important of the factors leading to situations in which "race" 
prejudice may be caused to develop, but that such factors are 
virtually entirely dependent upon cultural factors for the 
direction which they may be made to give to individual ag- 
gressiveness is proved by the fact that the aggressiveness aris- 
ing under those same economic conditions can just as well be 

HMerton, "Social Structure and Anomie," Amer. Social. Rev., Ill (1938), 680. 


directed toward the production of good fellowship and mutual 
aid between different ethnic and social groups. Such fellow- 
ship and cooperation between different groups has been re- 
peatedly witnessed in times of war, when, for example, an 
alien nation has become the socially sanctioned release-object 
for one's aggressiveness. In peace time the repair of some nat- 
ural disaster, affecting the lives of all, frequently produces the 
same effect, by providing a wholesome outlet for such aggres- 
siveness. The attack upon some social problem requiring 
solution is in every way a far more satisfactory outlet for ag- 
gressiveness than an attack upon other human beings. Clearly, 
then, it is what is culturally offered as the most suitable object 
for the release of these aggressive tendencies that is the pri- 
marily important fact, the economic factor is only of sec- 
ondary importance. As Dollard has put it, "race prejudice 
seems, then, but a footnote to the wider consideration of 
the circumstances under which aggression may be expressed 
within a society." 12 Economic conditions are culturally utiliz- 
able, for good or for evil purposes, as each culture, or segment 
thereof, sees fit. If in some cultures the aggressiveness which 
arises under such conditions is made to release itself in hostile 
behavior toward some group, that can hardly be said to be 
due to economic conditions, but must clearly be held to be 
due to those factors which render possible the cultural manip- 
ulation of the situation to which such conditions give rise. In 
short, economic factors may provide some of the conditions in 
which "race" hostility may be generated, but unless those con- 
ditions are directed into channels leading to "race** hostility, 
there will be no "race" hostility, and the aggressiveness which 
must be released will have to find some other outlet. 

Prejudice against the Japanese in California affords an ex- 
cellent case study of the complexity of the factors involved. 
Here it would be an easy matter for the economic determinist 
to show that economic factors are chiefly responsible for that 
prejudice, but he would not be entirely correct. A study of 

12 Dollard, "Hostility and Fear in Social Life," Social forces, XVII (1938), 


the history o the prejudice against the Japanese in California 
proves that a large number of independent factors are in- 

In the first place, Japanese immigration into California un- 
fortunately coincided with the rise of Japan as a great power 
with territorial ambitions, hence Japanese immigrants came 
to be regarded as "the spearhead of Japanese invasion." Cor- 
rupt politicians, anxious to divert public attention from their 
own malpractices, and newspapers supporting the latter or for 
their own particular purposes, have continually emphasized 
the danger that California might develop a "race problem*' 
even worse than the color problem in the South. The con- 
tinual emphasis on the inevitability of war with Japan, the 
fact that the Japanese present very perceptible physical and 
cultural peculiarities, their hard-won, but warmly resented, 
expansion into fields of commerce in which they have become 
competitors where whites formerly held the field exclusively, 
are important factors, among others, which together have been 
responsible for the development of "race" prejudice against 
the Japanese in California. 13 

The aggressive intentions of the Japanese government and 
fear of the development of another "color problem," two 
issues almost daily drummed into the ears of Californians, 
would alone have been sufficient to produce an acute case of 
"race" prejudice. Add to these the other factors already men- 
tioned, and many others not mentioned, and it becomes clear 
that any explanation in terms of a single factor does violence 
to the facts. 

Many Californians dislike the Japanese, not because they 
constitute an economic threat, but because they have been 
taught to believe that they are opposed to all that good Cali- 
fornians and good Americans stand for. Today some Califor- 
nians refuse to permit loyal American citizens of Japanese an- 
cestry to return to their former homes in California. Scheming 

is For an admirably clear analysis of the problem in California see Mc- 
Williams, Brothers under the Skin, pp. 147-75, and the same author's Preju- 
dice The Japanese- Americans: Symbol of Racial Intolerance. 


politicians declare that were they permitted to do so every Jap- 
anese seen on the streets would be killed, thus artfully inciting 
the public to riot and murder. What are the motives of these 
polwiticians? Obviously, what they have always been: to keep 
the "race" issue alive so that they may fully exploit it for 
their own and their friend's economic advantage. 

The details may vary where the members of different ethnic 
groups are involved and in different regions, but the general 
pattern of racism is the same wherever found and under what- 
ever high-sounding name it may be disguised. Not one factor, 
but a complex of factors, is generally involved. Nevertheless, 
when this has been said and all the necessary conditions enter- 
ing into the cause of "race" prejudice have been specified, it 
remains certain that the most important factor involved in 
those conditions is the economic factor. Our economic sys- 
tem with all the frictions, frustrations, misery, and war which 
it brings is a basic cause of racism and "race" situations. 
These, together, supply the motivation and a good deal of 
the aggressiveness which is expressed in "race" prejudice. 
"Race" prejudice is a socially sanctioned and socially directed 
means of releasing aggression, because in our society there 
exist powerful groups of men who for their own interest 
and in order to maintain their power must maintain divi- 
sions between men. It is the domestic application of the Nazi 
formula "Divide and rule." What more simple than to pro- 
duce such divisions between the members of different ethnic 
groups within our society? They are "aliens," "foreigners," 
"the white man's burden," "the rising tide of color," "the 
yellow peril," "Niggers," "the International Jew," "Wops," 
"Greeks," and so forth. In an economic organization of society 
which is always characterized by the presence of one crisis or 
another, with its attendant unemployment in the industries 
involved, the aggrieved part of the population is easily led 
to believe that if there were fewer people to be employed, 
there would be employment and adequate wages for all. 
"Race" antagonism under such conditions is easily generated. 

It must always be remembered that, as Reuter has put it, 


"in the human as in the subhuman realm, the geographic dis- 
tribution, the physical differences, the varying modes of life, 
and the mental traits and characteristics are, in large measure, 
the impersonally determined end results of the competitive 
struggle to live. Men live where they can secure the means to 
life, and they develop the physical, mental, and social char- 
acters that enable them to live in the area." 14 

One of the most serious "end results of the competitive 
struggle to live" in our society is "race" prejudice. It has been 
pointed out that the economic factor is not the sole condition 
involved in the causation of "race" antagonism; it is a neces- 
sary factor, but not the sufficient cause. I think we can all 
accept that as a reasonable statement of the case. It should, 
however, be quite clear that in our society the economic factor 
is a predominant condition in the causation of such antag- 
onisms, a necessary condition without which whatever we 
may be able to conceive to the contrary such antagonisms 
would not occur. Like good doctors, therefore, if we would 
prevent the disease, we must eliminate or modify the princi- 
pal condition or conditions which give rise to it. In other 
words, we must eliminate the condition of economic duress 
under which so many human beings are unjustly forced to live 
today. By so doing we will have removed the most important 
cause of "race" prejudice; such other causes as remain can 
then be dealt with efficiently. This is something to understand 
and to work for. 

i* Renter, "Competition and the Racial Division of Labor/' in Race Rela- 
tions and the Race Problem (edited by Thompson), p. 49. 


IT is AT this stage in our discussion that I wish to focus 
attention upon the one general factor which seems to have 
been almost always overlooked in discussions of the "race" 
problem. This is the factor of the normal psychophysical and 
psychological traits of the individual traits which are uti- 
lized in the generation of "racial" enmities and which have 
already been touched upon in the preceding chapter. 

The one thing clear concerning "racial" hostility and preju- 
dice is the ease with which individuals are led to exhibit it. 
There are very few persons in our society who have not, at 
one time or another, exhibited evidence of "racial" prejudice; 
and it would seem clear that most persons are capable of being 
brought to a state of mind in which they are really glad of 
the opportunity of freely releasing their feelings against some 
group or an individual representing such a group. When so- 
ciety as a whole sanctions the attachment of such feelings to 
any group, the free exercise of "racial" intolerance is enjoyed 
as a happy release for feelings which are ever ready to find 
expression. Now, it is in the nature of such feelings the 
character of which we shall presently discuss that they can 
be suitably directed against some individual or particular 
group of individuals, and it is for this reason that they can be 
so easily directed to the support and maintenance of "race" 
prejudices. The individual exhibits "race" prejudice because 
it affords him a means of easing certain tensions within him- 
self; because he is happiest when he is most freely able to re- 
lease those tensions. As far as the individual is concerned, the 
prejudice itself is unimportant, it merely provides the channel 
through which his feelings are allowed necessary expression. 
Such feelings should, and for the sake of the health of the 
individual must, find expression. As I have already said, such 


feelings will attach themselves to the most suitable object 
offered whatever it may be. Such feelings are not feelings of 
"race" prejudice, or any other kind of prejudice; and they 
are not inborn. On the contrary, such feelings are to a very 
large extent generated during the early childhood develop- 
ment of almost every person. There can, however, be little 
doubt that the elementary forms of these affective states in 
their undifferentiated condition, are physiologically deter- 
mined. 1 The manner in which such feelings are generated has 
been discussed in great detail by the psychoanalysts and others. 
I shall here briefly review the process involved in these dy- 

The aggressiveness which adults exhibit in the form of 
"race" hatred would appear to have universally the same 
origin. By this I mean that the aggressiveness, not the "race" 
hatred, has the same origin universally and that the aggres- 
siveness is later merely arbitrarily directed, in some societies 
against certain groups. Under other conditions this same ag- 
gressiveness could be directed against numerous different 
objects, either real or imagined. The object against which 
aggressiveness is directed is determined by particular condi- 
tions, and these we shall later briefly consider. 

If it be agreed that in "racial" intolerance and prejudice a 
certain amount of aggressiveness is always displayed, we must 
ask and answer two questions: (i) where does this aggressive- 
ness originate and (2) why is it exhibited? 

Briefly, it is here suggested that a considerable amount of 
the aggressiveness which adults exhibit is originally produced 
during childhood by parents, nurses, teachers, or whoever else 
participates in the process of socializing the child. By de- 
priving the infant, and later the child, of all the means of satis- 
faction which it seeks the nipple, the mother's body, uncon- 
trolled freedom to excrete and to suck, the freedom to cry at 
will, to scream and shout, to stay up as late as one wishes, to 

i Fremont-Smith, "The Physiological Basis of Aggression," Child Study, XV 
(1938), 1-8, and "The Influence of Emotional Factors upon Physiological and 
Pathological Processes," Bull N.Y. Acad. Med. f XV (1939), 5 6 - 6 9- 


do the thousand and one things that are forbidden, frustra- 
tion upon frustration is piled up within the child. 2 Such 
frustrations lead to resentment, to fear, to hatred, and to 
aggressiveness. In childhood this aggressiveness or resentment 
is displayed in "bad temper'* and in general "naughtiness." 
Such conduct almost invariably results in further frustration 
in punishment. At this stage of his development the child 
finds himself in a state of severe conflict. He must either con- 
trol the expression of his aggressiveness or else suffer the pun- 
ishment and the loss of love which his aggressiveness provokes. 
Such conflicts are usually resolved by excluding the painful 
situation from consciousness and direct motor expression 
in short, by the repression of one's aggressive energies. These 
are rarely ever completely repressed, but only in so far as they 
permit a resolution of the original conflict situation, and the 
farther the original derivatives of what was primarily re- 
pressed become removed from the latter, the more freely do 
these energies gain access to consciousness and the more availa- 
ble for use do they become. 3 The evidence renders it over- 
whelmingly clear that these energies are never to any extent de- 
stroyed or exhausted. Being a part of the total organism, they 
must, in one way or another, find expression, and the ways in 
which they can find expression are innumerable. "Race" ha- 
tred and prejudice merely represent familiar patterns of the 
manner in which aggressiveness may express itself. 4 

Fear of those who have frustrated one in his childhood and 
anxiety concerning the outcome of the situation thus pro- 
duced lead to the repression of aggression against the original 
frustrators and thereby to the conditioning of an emotional 
association between certain kinds of frustrative or fear situa- 
tions and aggressive feelings. As a result of such conditioning, 
any object even remotely suggesting such fear or frustrative 

2 Frustration may be understood as the thwarting of expected satisfaction. 

3 It will be noted that there is here an interesting parallel to the second 
law of thermodynamics. 

4 For interesting treatments of this view see Dollard and others, Frustration 
and Aggression, and Durbin and Bowlby, Personal Aggressiveness and War. 


situations provokes the aggressive behavior with which such 
fears and frustrations have become associated. 

It must again be emphasized that the aggressiveness which 
is more or less common to all human beings is not a cause of 
"race" prejudice, but merely represents a motive force or affec- 
tive energy which can be attached, among other things, to the 
notion that other groups or "races" are hateful and may thus 
serve to keep such ideas supplied with the emotional force 
necessary to keep them going. Under such conditions "race" 
becomes important, not as a biological description or ethnic 
classification, but as the expression of an unconscious conflict. 

Since the infliction of mental, and even physical, pain, as 
well as the frustration and depreciation of others, is involved 
in the process of "race" prejudice, and since much of the 
aggressiveness of the individual owes its existence to early 
experiences of a similar sort, it is perhaps not difficult to un- 
derstand why it is that most persons are so ready to participate 
in the exercise of "race" prejudice. By so doing they are able 
to find an object for their aggressiveness which most satis- 
factorily permits the free expression of aggressiveness by means 
almost identically resembling those which in childhood were 
indulged in against them. In this way is the individual en- 
abled, as an adult, to pay off quite unconsciously an old 
score of childhood frustration. The later very appreciable 
frustrations suffered in adolescence and adult life naturally 
add to the store and complexity of aggressiveness, and require 
no discussion here. In this place we can do no more than refer 
to such important psychological mechanisms as "displace- 
ment," which defines the process whereby aggression is dis- 
placed from one object to another, and "projection," the 
process of attributing to others feelings and impulses orig- 
inating in ourselves which have been refused conscious recog- 

As MacCrone has written in a valuable study of the psy- 
chology and psychopathology of "race" prejudice in South 
Africa, "the extra-individual conflicts between the two racial 
groups are but the intra-individual conflicts within the mind 


writ large, and until the latter are removed, reduced, or modi- 
fied, they must continue to exercise their baleful influence 
upon the race relations and the race contacts of white and 
black." 6 

Briefly, then, the factor which has been most consistently 
overlooked in discussions of "race** problems is the psycho- 
logical factor; the deep motive forces represented by the ag- 
gressiveness which is present in all human beings and is con- 
tinually being augmented by the frustrations of adult life. It 
is this aggressiveness which renders so easily possible the usual 
emotional and irrational development of "race" prejudice. A 
rational society must reckon with this factor, for since a cer- 
tain amount of frustration is inevitable, and even desirable, 
in the development of the individual and a certain amount of 
latent aggressiveness is an ineradicable and necessary part of 
the equipment of most human beings, 6 the task of an intel- 
ligent society is clear. Society must provide outlets for the 
aggressiveness of the individual which will result in benefits 
both to the individual and through him to society. Outlets 
for aggression which result in social friction and in the de- 
struction of good relations between human beings must be 
avoided. Frustrations in the early and subsequent develop- 
ment of the individual must be reduced to a minimum, and 
aggressiveness always directed toward ends of constructive 


It has already been pointed out that the problem of "race" 
in our society is social, and not biological in any but the nar- 
row technical sense. Fairness toward other groups of persons is 
a matter of simple human decency; and decency is an attitude 
of mind, for the most part culturally produced. Whether 
ethnic groups or castes are biologically equal is an utterly 
irrelevant consideration where fair-mindedness is concerned. 
Whatever differences exist between peoples and however they 

fi MacCrone, Race Attitudes in South Africa, p. 310. 

' "In this world it is very important to be aggressive, but it is fatal to appear 
so." Benjamin Jowett. 


may have been determined, the willingness to understand 
those differences and to act upon them sympathetically ought 
to increase in proportion to the magnitude of the differences 
which are believed to exist between ourselves and others. As 
Professor E. G. Conklin has so well put it: "To the naturalist 
the differences between human races, subraces, and individ- 
uals are small indeed as compared with their manifold re- 
semblances. Biology and the Bible agree that 'God hath made 
of one blood all nations of men/ Our common traits and 
origin and fate, our common hopes and fears, joys and sor- 
rows, would call forth our common sympathy with all man- 
kind, if it were not for the lessons of hate which have been 
cultivated and instilled by selfish and unscrupulous persons 
and social groups. These racial antagonisms are not the results 
of inexorable nature, nor of inherited instincts, but of de- 
liberate education and cultivation/' 7 

The plea for fairness in dealing with different ethnic groups 
is usually phrased in terms of "toleranc." But if we are to 
make progress in ethnic relations it is desirable to recognize 
that in practice tolerance amounts to what, for the most part, 
we already have, namely, a somewhat reluctant admission of 
the necessity of enduring that which we must bear, the pres- 
ence of those whom we do riot like. A New York high-school 
girl recently put the whole matter in a nutshell. "Tolerance," 
she said, "is when you put up with certain people but you 
don't like to have them around anyhow." That, it is to be 
feared, is the general conception of tolerance, the hand- 
washing indifference of the "superior" being who patroniz- 
ingly condescends to endure the coexistence of "inferior" be- 
ings and then holds the latter at their "proper" distance. 
Tolerance is the attitude of mind of those who consider them- 
selves not only different but superior. It implies an attitude 
toward different ethnic or minority groups, not of under- 
standing, not of acceptance, not of recognition of human 
equality, but of recognition of differences which one must 
suffer generally, not too gladly. We must be more than tol- 

7 Conkiin, "What Is Man?" Rice Institute Pamphlet, XXVIII (1941), 163. 


erant; we must be fair. Tolerance is the best one can hope for 
from bigots; fairness is the attitude of mind we look for in 
decent, humane people. By fairness, where ethnic relations are 
concerned, is meant the attitude of mind which takes it for 
granted, there being no actual evidence to the contrary, that 
for all their individual differences no human being is really 
superior to another by virtue of his group affiliation and that, 
given the necessary opportunities, it is probable that the 
average individual of any one group is capable of doing at 
least as well as the average individual of the culturally most 
advanced group. It is more than merely being willing to con- 
cede that the others are not superior to us; it is readiness to 
accept the verdict that we are not superior to the others. One 
is not called upon to be magnanimous, still less is one called 
upon to condemn or condone, but one is called upon to at- 
tempt to be fair to understand and then to act upon that 

Until such an attitude of mind becomes part of the equip- 
ment of every individual, no amount of instruction in tfye 
biological facts concerning "race" will ever succeed in elim- 
inating "race" prejudices. 

"Race" prejudice is ultimately merely the effect of an in- 
completely developed personality a personality, that is, 
which has not yet learned any of the simple fundamental facts 
of its own nature or of the nature of other human beings, for 
to understand others it is first necessary to understand one- 
self. Such a personality is still utilizing the infantile method 
of beating the object which it imagines has in some way been 
the cause of its frustration; it is a personality which is still 
shifting the blame onto someone else for its errors and is still 
boasting that 4< my father is bigger than yours." It is a person- 
ality which contrasts sharply with the adult developed per- 
sonality which tries to understand and does not seek to wash 
its hands of its fellows by condemning or condoning their 
conduct and thus dismissing them from its mind. The de- 
veloped person does not automatically resort to the infliction 
of punishment because he has been frustrated, but he attempts 


to understand the cause of his frustration and then, in the 
light of that understanding, so to act that such frustrations 
will not again be produced. He does not try to escape the 
exercise of understanding by emotionally letting off steam. 
He accepts responsibility for his own acts and is moved by the 
injustice of the acts of others to attempt to remedy the condi- 
tions which gave rise to them. He understands that no one's 
father is really bigger than anyone else's father and that to act 
in a superior manner is merely a childish way of asserting one's 
childish desire to feel important, to feel that one amounts to 
something. He realizes that, on the other hand, the desire to 
feel that one belongs with all mankind and not above or below 
any group, that to feel that one is of them and belongs with 
them, is the most satisfying and efficient way of living and 
thinking. He not only insists upon the right of everyone to be 
different, but rejoices in most of those differences and is not 
unsympathetically indifferent to those which he may dis- 
like. He realizes that diversity is not only the salt of life but 
aiso the true basis of collective achievement, and he does 
everything in his power to further the purposes of that collec- 
tive achievement. 8 

True culture has been defined as the ability to appreciate 
the other fellow. While this particular ability has many 
sources, it is generally derived from varied, sympathetic, and 
understanding contacts between people who differ from each 
other in some respects. 9 

If "race" prejudice is ever to be eliminated, society must 
assume the task of educating the individual not so much 
concerning the facts of "race" as about the processes which 
lead to the development of a completely integrated human 
being. The solution here, as in so much else, lies in education; 
education for humanity first and with regard to the facts 

For a valuable discussion of this aspect of the subject see Davidson, "The 
Anatomy of Prejudice," Common Ground, I (1941), 3-12; and Huxley, Man 
Stands Alone. 

Taft, "Cultural Opportunities through Race Contacts," Journal of Negro 
History, XIV (1929), 19. 


afterward. For of what use are facts unless they are intel- 
ligently understood and humanely used? 

Suppose for a moment that significant differences did exist 
between different peoples which rendered one, in general, 
superior to the other, a reasonably developed human being 
would hardly consider such differences sufficient reason for 
withholding any opportunities for social and cultural develop- 
ment from such groups. On the contrary, he would be the 
more anxious to provide them with such opportunities. Un- 
developed personalities operate in the opposite way and, 
creating most of the differences they condemn, proceed to 
intensify those differences by making it more and more dif- 
ficult for the groups thus treated to avoid or to overcome them. 

Fromm writes: "The implicit assumption underlying much 
reactionary thinking is that equality presupposes absence of 
difference between persons or social groups. Since obviously 
such differences exist with regard to practically everything 
that matters in life, their conclusion is that there can be no 
equality. When the liberals conversely are moved to deny the 
fact of great differences in mental and physical gifts and fa- 
vorable or unfavorable accidental personality conditions, they 
only help their adversaries to appear right in the eyes of the 
common man. The concept of equality as it has developed in 
Judaeo-Christian and in modern progressive tradition means 
that all men are equal in such basic human capacities as those 
making for the enjoyment of freedom and happiness. It means, 
furthermore, that as a political consequence of this basic 
equality no man shall be made the means to the ends of an- 
other group. Each man is a universe for himself and is only 
his own purpose. His goal is the realization of his being, in- 
cluding those very peculiarities which are characteristic of 
him and which make him different from others. Thus, equality 
is the basis for the full development of difference, and it results 
in the development of individuality." 10 

The evidence suggests that there exist no really significant 

10 Fromm, "Sex and Character," Psychiatry t VI (1943), 23. 


differences between groups of mankind, that there are differ- 
ences only between individuals. In every group there will be 
found a large range of differences in the native endowment of 
its members, some individuals are naturally inferior to others 
in the realizable potentials of intelligence, in vigor, or in 
beauty. Such differences may, by some, be made the pretext 
for heaping contumely and humiliation upon those who are 
less fortunately endowed than their fellows; but it would be 
scarcely human to do so and less than decent. 

It should be clear that both the form of the mind and the 
form of the body are so dependent upon social conditions 
that when the latter are unequal for different groups, little or 
no inference can be made as to the mental and physical po- 
tentialities of those groups. 

Until we have succeeded, by means of the proper educa- 
tional methods, in producing that cultivation of the mind 
which renders nothing that is human alien to it, the "race" 
problem will never be completely solved. The means by which 
that problem may to some extent be ameliorated have already 
been indicated and will be further discussed in the last chap- 
ter and the appendix which follows it. 

There is one more aspect of the psychology of "race" prej- 
udice to which I should like to draw attention, that is, the 
process of rationalization, the process of finding reasons to 
justify one's emotionally held beliefs. 

We saw in Chapter i by what means "race" prejudice orig- 
inally came into existence in the United States, namely, as 
the device by means of which the proslavery party attempted 
to meet the arguments of the abolitionists that the slaves were 
men and brothers and should be free. The upholders of slav- 
ery avidly sought for reasons with which to justify their inter- 
est in maintaining that institution, and they brought those 
reasons forward in force and from all sorts of sources, includ- 
ing the Bible. But no matter from what source they drew their 
reasons, they were nothing but rationalizations of the worst 

Since "race" prejudice invariably rests on false premises, for 


the most part of emotional origin, it is not surprising to find 
that it is practically always rationalized. And so it has always 
been. As Professor W. O. Brown points out: "The rationaliza- 
tion is a moral defense. And the rationalizer is a moralist. The 
rationalization, in the nature of the case, secures the believer 
in his illusion of moral integrity. The morality of the ration- 
alization is perhaps intensified by the fact that it represents 
an effort to make that which is frequently vicious, sordid, 
and inhumane rational, idealistic, and humane. The semi- 
awareness of the real nature of the attitude being rationalized 
intensifies the solemnity with which the rationalization is 
formulated. Securing moral values the rationalization nat- 
urally partakes of a moral quality. This fact explains, in part, 
perhaps, the deadly seriousness of the devotee of the ration- 
alization. Its value lies in the fact that it removes the moral 
stigma attached to race prejudice, elevating this prejudice into 
a justified reaction." u 

The rationalization is not, of course, regarded as the expres- 
sion of prejudice, but rather as the explanation of one's be- 
havior the reason for it. Few rationalizers are aw r are of the 
fact that their reasons are simply devices for concealing the 
real sources of their anatagonisms. They do not know that 
thought is a means both of concealing and of revealing feel- 
ings and that a conviction in the rationality of one's conduct 
may signify little more than a supreme ability at self-deception. 
As Professor Brown remarks, "the rationalization is not re- 
garded as cloaking antagonism, but is regarded as a serious 
interpretation of conduct. No good rationalizer believes that 
he is prejudiced/' Hence, the stronger the reasons we hold 
for any belief, the more advisable it is to inquire into the 
soundness of the supports upon which they rest. This is espe- 
cially true when the beliefs are as strongly held as they are in 
connection with "race" prejudice. 

11 W. O. Brown, "Rationalization of Race Prejudice," The International 
Journal of Ethics, LXIII (1933), 305. 



ONE OF THE MOST strongly entrenched popular super- 
stitions is the belief that interbreeding, or crossing, be- 
tween "races" results in inferior offspring and that the 
greater part of such crossings lead to degeneration of the stock. 
The commonly employed stereotype has it that the half-caste 
inherits all the bad and none of the good qualities of the 
parental stocks. These bad qualities the half-breed is said to 
transmit to his offspring, so that there is produced a very 
gradual and a very definite mental and physical deterioration 
within the group, finally resulting in complete infertility. 
Not only has the dying-out of peoples been attributed to this 
cause, but it has also been held responsible for "the chronic 
unrest of eastern Europe, the so-called 'eastern question* " 
being, it is alleged, "only the ferment of mixed bloods of 
widely unlike type." 1 

A quite novel view of the dangers of "race" mixture has 
been expressed by the late Madison Grant. According to this 
writer the native American of colonial stock "will not bring 
children into the world to compete . . . with the Slovak, the 
Italian, the Syrian, and the Jew. The native American is too 
proud to mix socially with them, and is gradually withdraw- 
ing from the scene, abandoning to these aliens the land which 
he conquered and developed." 2 

Here we perceive that it is the fear of "race" mixture, of 
"race" contamination, and a sense of pride in the "purity" of 
one's own stock which, according to Madison Grant, is lead- 
ing to the disappearance of that Old American stock in the 
United States. 

As is the case with most of the evils which have been attrib- 

i Widncy, in Mankind; Racial Values and the Racial Prospects, I (1917), 167. 
* Grant. The Passing of the Great Race, pp. 81-82. 


uted to so-called "miscegenation," or "race" mixture, there 
is not a particle of truth in any of these statements. Such facts 
as they may have reference to are in practically every case due 
to purely social factors. The colonial stock from which Madi- 
son Grant's long-headed, blond, blue-eyed native American 
is supposed to have descended was far from being the homo- 
geneous "Nordic" stock which he and Henry Fairfield Os- 
born imagined. It was left to one of those scorned lowly 
"Slovaks," who had come to these shores as a poor immigrant 
boy, the distinguished American physical anthropologist Ales 
Hrdlicka, to prove that the colonial stock was a very mixed 
lot indeed. The evidence indicates that very few of them could 
have been blonds and that the roundheaded were distinctly 
more numerous than the longheaded. 8 

The fact that half-castes often impress those who are not 
disposed to judge them sympathetically as mentally and mor- 
ally inferior to their parental stocks is, in many cases, to be 
explained by the fact that such hybrids are acceptable neither 
to the mother's group, on the one hand, nor to the father's 
group, on the other. That, indeed, is the precise significance 
implied in the term "half-caste." In most instances the half- 
caste himself finds it extremely difficult to adjust to condi- 
tions which are themselves the cause of maladjustment in 
others. Generally it is his lot to live under conditions of the 
most depressing kind and to occupy an anomalous and am- 
biguous position in society. 4 As Castle has written: "Since 
there are no biological obstacles to crossing between the most 
diverse human races, when such crossing does occur, it is in 
disregard of social conventions, race pride and race preju- 
dice. Naturally therefore it occurs between antisocial and out- 
cast specimens of the respective races, or else between con- 
querors and slaves. The social status of the children is thus 
bound to be low, their educational opportunities poor, their 
moral background bad. . . . Does the half-breed, in any com- 

Hrdlicka, The Old Americans, p. 54. 

* For a discussion of the half-caste in our society see Stonequist, The Marginal 
Man: a Study in Personality and Culture Conflict. 


munity of the world in which he is numerous, have an equal 
chance to make a man of himself, as compared with the sons of 
the dominant race? I think not. Can we then fairly consider 
him racially inferior just because his racial attainments are 
less? Attainments imply opportunities as well as abilities." 5 
Coming, as they do, from one of the world's leading mam- 
malian geneticists, those words are worth a great deal. 

There can be little doubt that those who deliver themselves 
of unfavorable judgments concerning "race-crossing" are 
merely expressing their prejudices. For within the frame- 
work which encloses the half-caste we are dealing with a con- 
spicuous example of the action of socially depressing factors, 
not with the effects of biological ones. The truth seems to be 
that far from being deleterious to the resulting offspring and 
the generations following them, interbreeding between dif- 
ferent ethnic groups is from the biological standpoint highly 
advantageous to mankind. 

Just as the fertilizing effects of the contact and mixing of 
cultures leads to the growth and development of the older 
forms of culture and the creation of new ones within it, so, 
too, does the interbreeding of different ethnic groups lead to 
the growth and development of the physical stock of mankind. 

It is through the agency of interbreeding that nature, in 
the form of "man's genetic system, shows its creative power. Not 
so long ago, when it was the custom to personify nature and to 
speak somewhat metaphysically of "her" as the purposive 
mother of us all, we should have said that crossing is one of 
nature's principal devices for the uninterrupted production 
of ever new and more vigorous types of life. 

Hybridization is one of the most fundamental processes of 
evolution. Hybridization of plants in nature is a continuous 
phenomenon, in lower animals it is also continually proceed- 
ing, while in man it is an age-old process which was unques- 
tionably operative among his protohuman ancestors. 6 The ad- 

5 Castle, "Biological and Social Consequences of Race Crossing," Amer. }. 
Phys. Anthrop., IX (1926), 147. 

6 Darwin was probably the first biologist to suggest that it was the bringing 
together of dissimilar germinal substances, rather than the mere act of crossing 


vantages of hybridization over any other process in developing 
new human types should be obvious. Evolution by mutation, 
for example, is a very slow and incalculable process com- 
pared with evolution by hybridization. 7 Furthermore, far 
from causing any existing stocks to die out, the injection of 
new genes into old stocks has often been the one means which 
has not only saved them from extinction but also served com- 
pletely to revitalize them. 

Populations consisting of inbred family lines need not be 
genetically any better or worse than populations which are 
not mixed, but if, on the whole, we compare the advantages of 
inbreeding with those of outbreeding, the advantages are 
chiefly with the latter. Inbreeding is not in itself a bad thing, 
and under certain conditions may be favorable for the pro- 
duction of speedy evolutionary changes, but there is always 
a danger of degenerative effects arising from the emergence of 
concealed deleterious recessive genes. In outbreeding, on the 
other hand, this danger is reduced to a minimum or alto- 
gether eliminated. In general outbreeding serves to increase 
physical vigor and vitality. Depending upon the size of the 
population inbreeding in small populations tends to produce 
a relative homogeneity of characters; outbreeding, on the 
other hand, tends to produce a heterogeneity of characters and 
to increase variability. The former state, over the course of 
time, may give rise to an actual condition of stagnation or the 
inability to meet new environmental conditions; the latter to 
an increased physical vigor and vitality. 

An example from human populations will illustrate this. 
Ride has recently shown that the inland populations of North 
Borneo exhibit a dangerously low birth rate in comparison 
with the coastal populations. The former are exclusively in- 
breeding groups; the latter, because of their contacts with 
many different peoples on the coast, are very largely out- 
breeding groups. As Ride has put it: "Biological history is 

which produced an increase in size and vigor in hybrid plants and animals. 
See Darwin, Variation of Plants and Animals under Domestication. 
7 Hybridization may cause a speeding up of mutation rates. 


full of instances of the price paid by races, both plant and 
animal, which cannot cope with a change in environment. 
... A large population of heterogeneous individuals en- 
sures that a change in environment will be successfully met 
by the survival of at least a percentage of the population, 
whereas a population of relatively homogeneous individuals 
such as may be produced by continued inbreeding and 
selection stands less chance of successfully negotiating a 
marked environmental change. . . . Any new infusion of 
blood should come from tribes that have proved themselves 
to be capable of surviving the changed environment. By this 
means and this only will the population be saved, and when 
all is said and done, this is merely the way that nature herself 
copes with these problems." 8 

The phenomenon of increased vigor following upon hy- 
bridization has been long recognized by biologists and is 
known as heterosis, or hybrid vigor. 9 * By "hybrid vigor" is 
meant the phenomenon frequently observed as a result of the 
crossing of the members of two distinct species, varieties, or 
groups, in which the hybrid, that is, the offspring resulting 
from the union of a sperm and an egg which differ in one or 
more genes, exceeds both parents in size, fecundity, resistance, 
or other adaptive qualities. 

From this definition it will be perceived that all possible 
matings between human beings must result in hybrids, since 
all potential human matings, whether they occur in the same 
or different ethnic groups, are necessarily between individ- 
uals who differ from one another in many more than one 
gene. In practice, however, the term "hybrid" is used to refer 
to the offspring of two individuals who differ from one another 
in their genetic constitution for one or more distinctive char- 
acters or qualities. The essential difference between these 

Ride, "The Problem of Depopulation with Special Reference to British 
North Borneo," The Caduceus (University of Hongkong), XIII (1934), 182-83. 

9 As early as 1859 Darwin wrote: "Hence it seems that, on the one hand, 
slight changes in the conditions of life benefit all organic beings, and on the 
other hand, that slight crosses, that is, crosses between the males and females 
of the same species, which have been subjected to slightly different conditions, 
or which have slightly varied give vigour and fertility to the offspring." The 
Origin of Species, chap. ix. 


two conceptions of a hybrid is an important one; we shall 
return to it upon a later page. In what follows we shall abide 
by the latter conception of a hybrid because it is in that sense 
that the term is most commonly used. 

The evidence indicates that hybrid vigor results because 
each parent supplies dominant genes for which the other 
parent is recessive. In other words, characters or qualities 
which would not normally be expressed or come into being 
were each of the parents to breed within their own groups, 
are newly created when there is cross-breeding between the 
members of different groups. It is for this reason that stocks of 
human beings on the verge of extinction may be saved by a 
new infusion of genes which combine with those of the old 
stock to result in vigorous offspring. 

The new types which emerge in this way generally exhibit 
something more than merely the blended sum of the proper- 
ties of the parental types, that is, they show some characters 
and qualities which are in their way somewhat novel, char- 
acters not originally possessed by although potentially pres- 
ent in the groups from which the parents have been derived. 
We have here the emergence of novelty, the emergents of 
hybrid syntheses, or emergent evolution in process. 

It is, indeed, a sad commentary upon the present condition 
of Western man that when it is a matter of supporting his 
prejudices, he will distort the facts concerning hybridization 
so as to cause laws to be instituted making it an offense against 
the state. But when it comes to making a financial profit out 
of the scientifically established facts, he will employ geneticists 
to discover the best means of producing hybrid vigor in order 
to increase the yield of some commercially exploitable plant 
or animal product. But should such a geneticist translate his 
scientific knowledge to the increase of his own happiness and 
the well-being of his future offspring, by marrying a woman 
of another color or ethnic group, the probability is that he 
will be promptly discharged by his employer. 10 

Utilizing the knowledge of hybrid vigor, animal geneticists 

10 This has actually occurred in the case of one of the world's leading plant 


have succeeded in producing offspring that for particular 
desired characters are in every way superior to the parental 
stock, while plant geneticists have succeeded, by the same 
means, in producing enormous increases in sugar cane, corn, 
fruits, vegetables and other economically important food- 
stuffs. 11 Such hybrids are not inferior to their parents, but 
exhibit qualities far superior to those possessed by either of 
the parental stocks. They are so far from being weakly that 
they will frequently show, as in the case of certain kinds of 
maize, an increase in yield between 150 to 200 percent. They 
are usually larger, stronger, fitter, and better in almost every 
way than their ancestral parent stocks. 

As a rule, hybridization can take place only between the 
members of the same species, although interspecific crosses 
and even intergeneric crosses do occasionally occur. The best- 
known example of an interspecific cross is the mule, which is 
the hybrid of a cross between the horse (Equus caballus) and 
the donkey or ass (Equus asinus). The mule combines most of 
the good qualities of its parental stocks. From the horse it 
inherits its speed, size, strength, and spiritedness; from the 
donkey its sure-footedness, lack of excitability, endurance, and 
ability to thrive on little food. Because of these qualities it is 
able to adapt itself to conditions in which both the horse and 
the donkey would fail. Hence, the mule fetches a higher 
market price than do animals of either of its parental stocks. 
The mule, however, is itself sterile. Knowledge of this fact has, 
perhaps, been responsible for the notion that hybridization 
generally results in sterility. This is, of course, quite erroneous 
except, for the most part, in those comparatively rare cases 
in which interspecific crosses are involved. 

All ethnic groups of mankind belong to the same species, 
and all are mutually fertile, as are the resulting offspring of 
mating between the members of such groups. The evidence, 
though by no means conclusive, suggests that among human 
beings, as among other forms of life, hybrid vigor is most 
markedly characteristic of the first generation of hybrids. In 

11 Crocker, "Botany of the Future," Science, LXXXVIII (1938), 391. 


the succeeding generations there would appear to be a gradual 
decline in vigor, possibly owing to the reestablishment of a 
relative homozygosity by inbreeding. Thus, one of the princi- 
pal means of revitalizing any group of living forms is by hy- 
bridization, and this is precisely what has occurred, from the 
earliest times, in man. 

For early man, in process of evolution, we have one very 
clear example of evolution by hybridization in the Neander- 
thaloid people, whose fossil remains were recently discovered 
at Mount Carmel in Palestine. 12 The variability presented by 
the skeletal remains of the Carmelites is such as to render the 
conclusion inescapable that within a relatively short time 
before the death of the recovered individuals the group of 
which they had been members had received an infusion of 
new genes from some other distinct group. 

Inbreeding tends to stabilize the type and in the long run to 
produce a decrease in vigor. Outbreeding, on the contrary, 
increases the variability of the type and, at least temporarily, 
augments its vigor. This is particularly significant in the case 
of small breeding groups in which the rate of homozygosis is 
likely to be more rapid than in larger populations. As I have 
written elsewhere: "Left to themselves relatively small breed- 
ing groups, such as the Carmelites, rapidly become homo- 
zygous; there is a scattering of variability, and the process 
which 'race* is, becomes temporarily genetically stable; in 
man the process generally becomes unstable by the introduc- 
tion of new genes, by heterozygosis, resulting in a greater 
variability, until there is again a synthesizing of the new com- 
binations, and the group is once more, homozygous accord- 
ing to the new pattern of genetic combinations." 18 

It is in the light of such genetic facts that one is able to say 
with a high degree of probability that the evidence as presented 

12 For a description of these remains see McCown and Keith, The Stone Age 
of Mount Carmel, Vol. II. For a discussion of the hybridization hypothesis ex- 
planatory of the variability of these remains see Montagu's review of the 
above work under the section "Prehistory" in the American Anthropologist, 
XLII (1940), 518-22. 

is Montagu, ibid., p. 521. 


by the great variability of the skeletal remains of the prehis- 
toric Carmelites indicates relatively recent hybridization. 

It has already been suggested that one of the principal agen- 
cies in the production of new human types has been in the 
past, as it is in the present, hybridization. In fact, at all 
times in man's evolutionary history he has unconsciously 
conducted his reproductive life in a manner which the pro- 
fessional stockbreeder would undoubtedly pronounce very 

Thus, in a treatise on stockbreeding one of America's fore- 
most geneticists, Professor Sewall Wright, summarizes the 
facts relating to hybridization in these words: "By starting a 
large number of inbred lines, important hereditary differ- 
ences in these respects are brought clearly to light and fixed. 
Crosses among these lines ought to give full recovery of what- 
ever vigor has been lost by inbreeding, and particular crosses 
may be safely expected to show a combination of desired char- 
acters distinctly superior to the original stock, a level which 
could not have been reached by selection alone. Further im- 
provement is to be sought in a repetition of the process iso- 
lation of new inbred strains from the improved crossbred 
stock, followed ultimately by crossing and selection of the best 
crosses for the foundation of the new stock/' 14 

This, by arid large, is actually the way in which new human 
ethnic groups and varieties have come into being and evolved. 
First, by isolation and inbreeding and the action of various 
selective factors, then, by contact with other groups and cross- 
breeding with them, followed once more by isolation and in- 
breeding. This process has, of course, occurred with various 
degrees of frequency in different human groups, but that it 
has occurred in some degree in all is certain. 

All that we know of the history of mankind points to con- 
stant migration and the intermingling of peoples. Today over 
the greater part of the earth human hybridization is proceed- 
ing at vastly more rapid rates than at any previous period in 

i* Wright, Principles of Live Stock Breeding, U.S, Department of Agriculture 
Bulletin, 905 (1920). 


the history of man, and a vastly greater number of peoples is 
being involved in the process at one and the same time. The 
tragedy, however, is that while the genes combine to produce 
new types which are often recognizably superior in some traits 
to their parental stocks and generally novel, the prejudices of 
men for the most part conspire to render those novel traits 
worthless and their possessors miserable. 

In many parts of the world where colored peoples live un- 
der the domination of the white man the hybrid is, by the 
white man, usually regarded as something of an outcast 
"outcast" and "half-caste" being regarded as synonymous 
terms an error which if it is to be at all acknowledged, must 
be viewed with unconcealed disgust. There have been and 
will continue to be some exceptions to this kind of attitude, 
but on the whole it will be agreed by those who are at all ac- 
quainted with the facts that the hybrid, or mixed-breed, has 
received a very raw deal at the hands of the whites. 

When instead of being ostracized by the whites, hybrid 
children and adults are given an opportunity to show what 
they can do, the results have often been so disconcerting to 
their alleged superiors that everything possible has been done 
either to suppress or to distort the facts. 15 It is certainly un- 
equivocally clear to those who are capable of viewing the evi- 
dence dispassionately that biologically the offspring of mixed 
unions are, on the whole, at least as good human beings in 
most respects, and better in some, than their parents. Did we 
not have good reason to believe this from our daily experience 

is In a recently published textbook of psychology an account is given of a 
young girl who belongs in the genius class, without any mention being made 
of the fact that she is the daughter of a Negro father and a white mother. 
In Los Angeles, in nonsegregated public schools attended by Negro and white 
children, it was found that 500 Negro children ranked slightly higher in in- 
telligence than the white group in the same schools with whom they were 
compared. References to such findings are seldom seen or heard. See Clark, 
Los Angeles Negro Children, Educational Research Bulletin, Los Angeles City 
Schools (1923). An outstanding example of distortion of the facts has recently 
been provided by Representative May of Kentucky, chairman of the House 
Military Affairs Committee, who caused the suppression for use by the United 
States Army of a pamphlet, The Races of Mankind, written by two distin- 
guished anthropologists, Professor Ruth Benedict and Dr. Gene Weltfish, of 
the Department of Anthropology, Columbia University. See pp. 138-41. 


of such offspring, we should expect it upon the grounds of 
such genetic evidence as we have already briefly discussed. 

Here we may briefly cite the evidence, such as it is, for exist- 
ing populations whose mixed ancestry is known and which 
have been the subject of anthropological studies. 


In the year 1790 nine English sailors and about twelve Ta- 
hitian women and eight Tahitian men landed on the isle of 
Pitcairn in the mid-Pacific. The English sailors were the rem- 
nant of the mutineers of the English warship Bounty who had 
made their escape to this lonely island. The story is now well 
known. What is not so well known is that the descendants of 
the English mutineers and the Tahitian women are to this day 
living on Norfolk and Pitcairn Islands. Dr. H. L. Shapiro, who 
has studied both groups in their island homes, found that the 
offspring of the initial white-Tahitian unions were very nu- 
merous, being 1 1.4 children per female on Pitcairn and 9.1 on 
Norfolk Island. 16 A large proportion of these hybrids were 
long-lived, and they have had unusually long-lived descend- 
ants. The modern Norfolk and Pitcairn Islanders are taller 
than the average Tahitian or Englishman, are more vigorous, 
robust, and healthy, and mentally they are perfectly alert. The 
general conclusion is that after five generations of inbreeding 
these descendants of Polynesian-white unions show little if 
any diminution of the hybrid vigor of the first generation. 

The physical type of the descendants is in every way per- 
fectly harmonious, with white characters predominating. Sha- 
piro concludes: 

"This study of race mixture on the whole rather definitely 
shows that the crossing of two fairly divergent groups leads 
to a physical vigor and exuberance which equals if not sur- 
passes either parent stock. My study of the Norfolk Islanders 

i Shapiro, Descendants of the Mutineers of the Bounty (Memoirs of the 
Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu, 1929, Vol. XI, No. i) and The Heritage 
of the Bounty. 


shows that this superiority is not an ephemeral quality which 
disappears after the l or F 2 generation, but continues even 
after five generations. Furthermore, the close inbreeding 
which the Norfolk hybrids have practiced has not led to physi- 
cal deterioration. 

"This conclusion regarding the physical vigor of the Nor- 
folk hybrids applies also to their social structure, which on 
Pitcairn was not only superior to the society instituted by the 
Englishmen themselves, but also contained elements of suc- 
cessful originality and adaptability. Although the Norfolk 
Island society is much influenced by European contacts, it 
has maintained itself a fact which acquires increased sig- 
nificance in view of the deterioration of the fiber of Polyne- 
sian life as a result of European influences." 17 This conclusion 
also holds good for the Pitcairn Islanders. 

Perhaps the best effects of human hybridization under fa- 
vorable social conditions is presented by the character and the 
achievements of the offspring of Maori-white unions and their 
descendants in New Zealand. Both physically and culturally 
the hybrids combine the best features of both ethnic groups. 18 
Native as well as hybrid Maoris have shown themselves in 
every way as capable as the whites, and one Maori has actually 
been Prime Minister of New Zealand, while several others 
have been ministers of high rank in its government, achieve- 
ments rendered possible by the fact that there is virtually no 
color bar or discrimination of any kind in New Zealand. 19 


Social conditions could not be more unfavorable for the 
offspring of aboriginal-white crosses than they are in Austra- 
lia, yet all unprejudiced observers agree that the offspring of 
such crosses represent an excellent physical type and that both 

i? Shapiro, Descendants of the Mutineers of the Bounty, p. 69. 

is Condliffe, New Zealand in the Making; Keesing, The Changing Maori. 

19 Nash, "Democracy's Goal in Race Relationships with Special Reference 
to New Zealand/' in Laidler (editor) The Role of the Races in Our future 
Qivilization, pp. i?-i$. 


the aborigines and the hybrids are possessed of considerable 
mental ability. 20 There can be little doubt that were the abori- 
gines and half-castes treated as they deserve to be, they would 
do quite as well as the Maori or any other people. Cecil 
Cook, the Chief Protector of Aboriginals in the Territory of 
Northern Australia, in an official report on the subject made 
to his government in 1933, stated that: "Experience shows 
that the half-caste girl can, if properly brought up, easily be 
elevated to a standard where the fact of her marriage to a 
white will not contribute to his deterioration. On the con- 
trary under conditions in the Territory where such marriages 
are socially accepted amongst a certain section of the popula- 
tion, the results are more beneficial than otherwise since the 
deterioration of the white is thereby arrested and the local 
population is stabilized by the building of homes. It is not to 
be supposed that such marriages are likely to produce an in- 
ferior generation. On the contrary a large proportion of the 
half-caste female population is derived from the best white 
stock in the country whilst the aboriginal inheritance brings 
to the hybrid definite qualities of value intelligence, stam- 
ina, resource, high resistance to the influence of tropical 
environment and the character of pigmentation which even 
in high dilution will serve to reduce the at present high inci- 
dence of Skin Cancer in the blonde European." 21 The half- 
caste males are, of course, to be bred back to "full-blood" na- 

20 The evidence for these statements is to be found in a large number of 
scattered books, periodicals, and newspapers not usually read by anthropolo- 
gists. Among these I would particularly diaw attention to the following: 
G. H. Wilkins, Undiscovered Australia, pp. 242-62, and the plate opposite 
p. 256 showing half-caste girls; McLaren, My Crowded Solitude, Cecil Cook, 
Report of the 2jth of June, 1933, by the Chief Protector of Aboriginals in the 
Northern Territory of Australia; Terry, Hidden Wealth and Hiding People; 
Idriess, Over the Range; Bates, The Passing of the Aborigines; J. R. B. Love, 
Stone Age Bushmen of To-Day, London, Blackie, 1936; Porteous, The Psychol- 
ogy of a Primitive People; Montagu, Coming into Being among the Australian 
Aborigines; Lefroy, "Australian Aborigines; a Noble Hearted Race," Con- 
temporary Review, CXXXV (1929), 22; Eleanor Dark, The Timeless Land, 
New York. Macmillan, 1941. Herbert, Capricornia. 

21 Cook, Report of the ijth of June, 1933, by the Chief Protector of Aborig- 
inals in the Northern Territory of Australia; reprinted in the Report of the 
Commission on Mixed Marriages in South Africa t Pretoria, 1939* p. 5. 


tive women. From Dr. Cook's report it is very evident that the 
half-caste, in the Northern Territory at least, is considerably 
advantaged by his biological heritage. This is undoubtedly 
true of all half-castes in Australia. 22 In terms that Western 
peoples readily understand, such facts as the following should 
not be unimpressive. 

Writing in 1899, ^e Rev. John Mathew states: "In schools, 
it has often been observed that aboriginal children learn quite 
as easily and rapidly as children of European parents. In fact, 
the aboriginal school at Ramahyuck, in Victoria, stood for 
three consecutive years the highest of all state schools of the 
colony in examination results, obtaining one hundred per 
cent of marks." 23 

In May, 1926, a pure aboriginal, Jacob Harris, defeated the 
draughts (checkers) champions of New South Wales and West- 
ern Australia, being himself subsequently defeated by the 
champion of Victoria. This aboriginal had learned the game 
at the Mission Station by watching over the shoulders of the 
players and was entirely self-instructed. 24 

Tindale, who has recently completed a survey of the half- 
caste problem in Australia, cites a number of cases which sug- 
gest that hybrid vigor is the rule in aboriginal-white crosses. 
Tindale also gives it as his opinion that the reproductive and 
survival rates of the latter are probably higher than among 
whites. He concludes: "There seems little evidence to indi- 
cate that the difficulties of adjustment mixed breeds may have 
at present are particularly the result of marked ethnic inferi- 
ority. Physically many are of fine type, and have shown their 
physical superiority for example in sports such as running, 
football and boxing their disabilities seem to be lack of edu- 
cation and home-training and the discouragement implicit in 
belonging to an outcast stock. There may be no mixed blood 

22 Tindale, "Survey of the Half-Caste Problem in South Australia/' Pro- 
ceedings of the Royal Geographical Society, South Australian Branch, session 
1940-41, pp. 66-161. 

23 Mathew, Eaglehawk and Crow, p. 78. Mathew's italics. 

2* Reported in the Daily Express (London), 27 May, 1926; see note 4, p. 11, in 
Ashley Montagu, Coining into Being. 


geniuses, but there are also on the other hand relatively few of 
markedly inferior mental calibre. The majority are of a medi- 
ocre type, often but little inferior to the inhabitants of small 
white communities which have, through force of circum- 
stances remained in poverty, ignorance or isolation." 26 


Hawaii has afforded investigators an excellent opportunity 
for the study of the effects of the mixture of different ethnic 
groups. Here native Hawaiians, who are, of course, Polyne- 
sians, have intermixed with whites of many nationalities 
Japanese, Filipinos, Koreans, Puerto Ricans, and others. All 
these have intermixed with each other, so that in Hawaii there 
are literally hundreds of varieties of mixed types. They are all 
in process of amalgamating, and it is likely that in the future 
the people of Hawaii will become a more or less distinctive 
ethnic group. In Hawaii is being repeated what has undoubt- 
edly taken place on both greater and lesser scales innumerable 
times elsewhere in the world. 

Here the evidence is clear that the descendants of the mixed 
Hawaiian unions are in many ways superior to their Hawaiian 
and non-Hawaiian progenitors. The part-Hawaiians have a 
much higher fertility rate than all other ethnic groups, and 
they are more robust, while in height, weight, and in their 
physical characters, as well as mental characters, they appear 
to be intermediate between their Hawaiian and non-Hawai- 
ian forbears. 26 The native Hawaiian is inclined to be over- 
heavy, a disadvantageous trait which tends to be reduced in 
the part-Hawaiian. The distribution of physical traits in the 
crosses follow the Mendelian laws of segregation and of inde- 
pendent assortment. That is to say, the children of crosses of 
the same ethnic groups, in a single family, segregate in their 
characters some around the parents, while others resemble 

25 Tindale, "Survey of the Half -Caste Problem in South Australia," Proceed- 
ings of the Royal Geographical Society, South Australian Branch, session 1940- 
41, p. 124. 

28 Krauss, "Race Crossing in Hawaii," Journal of Heredity. X.XXI1 (1941), 
57 1-78; Adams, Interracial Marriage in fjayaii, pp. 232-^5. 


the stocks of the grandparents; furthermore, it has been ob- 
served that single hereditary characters are often inherited in- 
dependently of each other. 

As a result of six years of intensive study of the Hawaiian 
population, Dr. William Krauss has shown that not the slight- 
est evidence of any disharmonies are to be found in the hy- 
brids or their descendants and that while there is no particular 
evidence of hybrid vigor, the mixed offspring are in every way 
satisfactory physical and mental types. 27 

Throughout Oceania, including the islands of Melanesia 
and Polynesia, aboriginal-white hybridization has been pro- 
ceeding for some centuries. 28 Handy, a careful student of 
Oceanic affairs, declares that throughout Polynesia the mixed 
breed "is one of the greatest assets which govern a commu- 
nity, both white and native phases," and that the mixed breed 
is "one of the most solid bonds between the white and the 
native." 29 This is also the conclusion stated by Krauss for the 
special case of Hawaii. 


In 1894 Professor Franz Boas published the results of a pio 
nee. study on the "half-blood" Indian, in which he showed 
that the latter was taller and more fertile than the parental 
Indian and white stocks. In many of his physical characters, as 
was to be expected, the hybrid Indian presented an interme- 
diate appearance. 80 Since increase in stature and in fertility 

27 Krauss, ibid. Consult further Reece, "Race Mingling in Hawaii," American 
Journal o/ Science, XX (1914), 104-16: Finch, "The Effects of Racial Misce- 
genation," in Papers on Inter-Racial Problems, pp. 108-12; Hoffman, "Mis- 
cegenation in Hawaii," Journal of Heredity, VIII (1917), 12 ff.; Dunn and 

Tozzer," An Anthropometric Study of Hnwaiians of Pure and Mixed Blood," 
Papers o\ the Peabodv Museum of Harvard University, XI (1928), 90-211; 
Wisslei, "Growth of Children in Hawaii Based on Observations by Louis R. 
Sullivan,' Bermce P Kishop Museum Memoirs, pp. 105-207. For a discordant 
view see MacCaughev. "Race Mixture in Hawaii," Journal of Heredity, X 
1919). 41-47 and 90-95. 

28 For an accoum of some ot these cases see Dover, Half-Caste, pp. 176-87 
w Hand\. quoted bv Keesing. 

3 Boas. "The Half Blood Indian an Anthropometric Study," Popular Sci- 
ence Monthly. XIV '1894), 761-70, reprinted in Boas. Race, Language and 
Culture, pp 138-48 


are among the most characteristic marks of hybrid vigor 
throughout the plant and animal kingdoms, it seems clear 
that the hybrid offspring of Indian-white crosses showed the 
evidences of hybrid vigor. A similar conclusion is to be drawn 
from Sullivan's analysis of Boas's data on mixed and unmixed 
Siouan tribes. 81 

In a study of Indian-white crosses in northern Ontario, in- 
volving O jib way Indians, Cree Indians, Frenchmen, and Eng- 
lishmen, Ruggles Gates found the descendants to be of an ad- 
mirably hardy type. "They appear to have the hardiness of the 
native Indians combined with greater initiative and enter- 
prise than the pure Indian would ever show. . . . They push 
the fringe of civilization farther north than it would otherwise 
extend, and help to people a territory which would otherwise 
be nearly empty." The evidence derived from this study, the 
author concludes, "serves to show that an intermediate race 
may be more progressively adapted to the particular condi- 
tions than either of the races from which it sprang." 32 

Williams's study of Maya-Spanish crosses in Yucatan, where 
much crossing and recrossing has gone on for almost four cen- 
turies, shows that after some twelve or thirteen generations 
the Maya-Spanish population, judged by any standard of bio- 
logical fitness, is a vigorously healthy one. 33 

Goldstein's observations on the mestizo population of Mex- 
ico, which is largely a mixture of American Indian and Span- 
ish, show that the mestizos are taller than the original parental 
stocks and more fertile. They are in every way a thoroughly 
vigorous group biologically, in spite of the debilitating effects 
of chronic poverty and primitive living conditions. 34 

The tri-hybrid Seminole Indians of Oklahoma are, as is well 
known, the recent descendants of a mixture between runaway 

si Sullivan, "Anthropometry of Siouan Tribes," Proceedings of the National 
Academy of Sciences, VI (1920), 131-34. 

82 Gates, "A Pedigree Study of Amerindian Crosses in Canada/ 1 /. Royal 
Anthrop. Inst., LVIII (1928), 530. 

SB Williams, "Maya-Spanish Crosses in Yucatan," Papers of the Peabody 
Museum of American Archeology and Ethnology, XIII (1931), 1-256. 

8* Goldstein, Demographic and Bodily Changes in Descendants of Mexican 


Creek Indians, Negro slaves, and whites. The Oklahoma Sem- 
inoles have never been studied from the point of view of 
ethnic mixture, but they have been studied anthropometri- 
cally as a single population by Krogman. 85 From Krogman's 
observations and those of his coworkers it is evident that the 
modern Seminole population exhibits, in varying degrees, 
the characters of all three ancestral types which have gone into 
its making. The physical types are, on the whole, good, and 
they are often very beautiful; there is not the slightest evi- 
dence of degeneration or disharmony in development. 

The same is to be said of the recently described Moors and 
Nanticokes of Delaware, who are likewise the descendants of 
Indian, Negro, and white admixture. Furthermore, these two 
groups have been inbreeding for more than two centuries 
with no observable ill effects; on the contrary, they appear to 
be a very hardy group indeed, who have managed to make a 
place for themselves under the most untoward conditions 
which have been forced upon them by their exceedingly 
"white Christian" neighbors. 86 


The American Negro is, of course, the most obvious and 
best-known example of the Negro-white cross. Because of the 
extreme differences in pigmentation, hair color and form, 
nose form, and eye color, the offspring of Negro-white unions 
and of their descendants, afford scientists an excellent oppor- 
tunity of judging the effects of such hybridization and shuf- 
fling and reshuffling of genes. The studies of Herskovits on 
the American Negro 37 and of Davenport and Steggerda on 
the Jamaican Negro 38 conclusively show that in his physical 
characters the mixed-breed Negro stands intermediate be- 
tween the stocks which generated him. In the American Negro, 
to be brief, we are developing a distinctively new ethnic type. 

as Krogman, The Physical Anthropology of the Seminole Indians. 

86 Weslager, Delaware's Forgotten Folk. 

87 Herskovits, The American Negro and The Anthropometry of the Ameri- 
can Negro. 

88 Davenport and Steggerda, Race Crossing in Jamaica. 


This type, there is every reason to believe, is a perfectly good 
one by the measure of biological goodness or fitness, that is 
to say, by the measure of the organism's ability to meet suc- 
cessfully every demand of its environment an ability testi- 
fied to by the fact that in the course of a century and a half 
the Negro population has increased by thirteen times its orig- 
inal number. 

Davenport has made the claim that hybridization some- 
times produces disharmonies, and he has also asserted that he 
has discovered such disharmonies in some of the mixed Ja- 
maicans who were examined and measured by Steggerda. In 
a work in which a simple table can be headed "Traits in 
Which Browns Are Inferior to Blacks and Whites," when the 
word "intermediate" would more accurately have described 
the facts recorded in the table, one is not surprised to discover 
that the findings upon which this assertion rests have been 
most strangely exaggerated. More revealing of Davenport's 
attitude of mind are the following remarks, which surely de- 
serve a prize for something or other. Davenport writes, "the 
Blacks seem to do better in simple mental arithmetic and 
with numerical series than the Whites. They also follow bet- 
ter complicated directions for doing things. It seems a plausi- 
ble hypothesis, for which there is considerable support, that 
the more complicated a brain, the more numerous its 'associa- 
tion fibers,' the less satisfactorily it performs the simple nu- 
merical problems which a calculating machine does so quickly 
and accurately." 39 Even though reason be outraged at this 
running with the hare and hunting with the hound the Blacks 
cannot be allowed the virtues of their qualities! 

It appears that some hybrid individuals showed a combina- 
tion of "long arms and short legs." "We do not know," writes 
Davenport, "whether the disharmony of long arms and short 
legs is a disadvantageous one for the individuals under con- 
sideration. A long-legged, short-armed person has, indeed, to 
stoop more to pick up a thing on the ground than one with 

s Davenport and Steggerda, Race Crossing in Jamaica, p. 469. 


the opposite combination of disharmony in the append- 
ages." 40 

Three out of four brown (hybrid) Jamaicans are cited in 
support of this generalization, a generalization which is made 
by Davenport as if it applied to his own findings on the Jamai- 
can browns as compared to the Jamaican blacks and whites. 

Professor H. S. Jennings adopted this generalization and 
made it part of the basis of a discussion on the possible ill- 
effects of hybridization which constitutes the only unsatisfac- 
tory section in an otherwise admirable book. 41 

Professor W. E. Castle has very cogently disposed of both 
Jennings's and Davenport's generalizations by stating the 
plain facts as represented by Davenport and Steggerda's own 
figures. Here are the figures: 


Black Brown White 

Leg length in cm. 92.5104 92.310.3 92.010.4 

Arm length in cm. 57.3 0.3 57.9 0.2 56.8 0.4 

Total stature in cm. l 1-6 0.6 170.2 0.5 127.7 -7 

It will be seen from these figures that the arm length of the 
browns is six tenths of a centimeter greater than in blacks and 
1.1 centimeters greater than in whites, and the leg length of 
the browns is three tenths of a centimeter less than in blacks. 
It is here that the alleged disharmony is presumably to be 
found. Now, it should be obvious that the order of the differ- 
ences is so small at most not more than 8 millimeters be- 
tween brown and white that it could not make the slightest 
practical difference in the efficiency of stooping. 

40 ibid., p, 471. 

*i Jennings, The Biological Basis of Human Nature, p. 280. Jennings has 
somewhat modified this in his Genetics, p. 280. The same comment may be 
made on Jennings's "Laws of Heredity and Our Present Knowledge of Hu- 
man Genetics on the Material Side," in Scientific Aspects of the Race Problem* 
pp. 71-72. 


As Castle has said: "We like to think of the Negro as an in- 
ferior. We like to think of Negro-white crosses as a degrada- 
tion of the white race. We look for evidence in support of 
the idea and try to persuade ourselves that we have found it 
even when the resemblance is very slight. The honestly made 
records of Davenport and Steggerda tell a very different story 
about hybrid Jamaicans from that which Davenport and Jen- 
nings tell about them in broad sweeping statements. The for- 
mer will never reach the ears of eugenics propagandists and 
Congressional committees; the latter will be with us as the 
bogey men of pure-race enthusiasts for the next hundred 
years/' 42 

In a study of the offspring of Negro-white unions made in 
the seaports of England and Wales, Fleming found that 10 
percent of the hybrids showed a disharmonic pre- or post- 
normal occlusion of teeth and jaws. The palate was generally 
well-arched, while the lower jaw was V-shaped and the lower 
teeth slipped up outside the upper lip, seriously interfering 
with speech; this disharmony "resulting where a well arched 
jaw was inherited from the Negro side and a badly arched one 
from the white side." 43 No other "disharmonies" were ob- 

Fleming states that a "badly arched" jaw was inherited from 
the white side. 

4 2 Castle, "Race Mixture and Physical Disharmonies," Science, LXXI (1930), 
603-6. Davenport has leplied to this: "We certainly never drew the conclusion 
that the Negro-white cross is inferior to the Negro or the whites; but we did 
find some cases of browns that seemed to present greater extremes and some- 
times less well-adjusted extremes than either of the parental races. Our 
conclusion is not as Castle suggests it is, that the browns 'are a degradation of 
the white race.' Our conclusion is given at p. 477: 'While, on the average, the 
Browns are intermediate in proportions and mental capacities between 
Whites and Blacks, and although some of the Browns are equal to the best 
of the Blacks in one or more traits still among the browns there appear to be 
an excessive per cent, over random expectation who seem not to be able 
to utilize their native endowment.' " "Some Criticisms of 'Race Crossing in 
Jamaica/" Science, LXXII (1930), 501-2. In another paper written in the 
same year Davenport expresses himself quite clearly on the matter of Negro- 
white crosses. These, he writes, seem to be "of a type that should be avoided." 
"The Mingling of Races," in Human Biology and Racial Welfare, p. 565. 

Fleming, "Physical Heredity in Human Hybrids," Annals of Eugenics, IX 
(1Q39). 68. 


What, precisely, this means is not clear, but it is clear that 
such disharmonies were limited to only 10 percent of the cases. 
It is also probable that some of these cases merely represent 
the expression of inherited defects, not necessarily exhibited 
in the jaws of the parents themselves, and that the defect ac- 
tually bears no relation whatever to the fact that one parent 
was a Negro and the other a white. If this were not so, it would 
be expected that more than 10 percent of the hybrids would 
exhibit "disharmonies" of occlusion. 

The present writer is fully convinced that the whole notion 
of disharmony as a result of ethnic crossing is a pure myth. 
Certainly there is some evidence of occasional asymmetric in- 
heritance in hybrids, but this is so rare that 1 doubt whether 
such asymmetries occur any less frequently in the general pop- 
ulation than they do among hybrids. The fact seems to be that 
the differences between human groups are not extreme 
enough to be capable of producing any disharmonies what- 

As a typical example of the loose kind of speculative argu- 
mentation which has marred the discussion of human hybrid- 
ization, reference may be made to the latest pronouncement 
upon the subject. This is from the pen of the late Professor 
Charles Stockard, an anatomist who for many years lived in 
the "black belt" of the South. In an elaborate work calculated 
to throw some light upon the effects of hybridization among 
dogs, Stockard writes as follows: 

"Since prehistoric time, hybrid breedings of many kinds 
have occurred at random among the different races of human 
beings. Such race crossings may have tended to stimulate mu- 
tations and genie instability, thus bringing about freak reac- 
tions and functional disharmonies just as are found to occur 
among dogs. The chief difference has been that in dogs a mas- 
ter hand has selected the freak individuals according to fancy 
and purified them into the various dog breeds. No such force 
regulates the mongrel mixing of human beings, and dwarf, 
giant, achondroplastic and acromegalic tendencies have not 
been selected out or established in pure form. On the con- 


trary, individuals carrying different degrees of these tenden- 
cies are constantly being absorbed into the general human 
stock, possibly to render the hybridized races less stable and 
less harmonious in their structural and functional complexes 
than were the original races from which they were derived. 
Mongrelization among widely different human stocks has very 
probably caused the degradation and even the elimination of 
certain human groups; the extinction of several ancient stocks 
has apparently followed very closely the extensive absorption 
of alien slaves. If one considers the histories of some of the 
south European and Asia-Minor countries from a strictly bio- 
logical and genetic point of view, a very definite correlation 
between the amalgamation of the whites and the Negroid 
slaves and the loss of intellectual and social power in the popu- 
lation will be found. The so-called dark ages followed a bril- 
liant antiquity just after the completion of such mongrel 
amalgamation. Contrary to much biological evidence on the 
effects of hybridization, racially prejudiced persons, among 
them several anthropologists, deny the probability of such re- 
sults from race hybridization in man.'* 44 

By "some of the south European and Asia-Minor countries" 
Stockard presumably means some of the lands bordering upon 
the Mediterranean Sea, extending from Portugal and Spain 
on the west -to Turkey on the east. Now, the only lands in this 
region in which any appreciable "absorption of alien slaves" 
has occurred are Portugal and Spain. What are the facts? In- 
terestingly enough, while the population of the Iberian penin- 
sula are of exceedingly complex descent, North African Ne- 
groes have, from the earliest times, made only a relatively 
minor contribution to that descent. Phoenicians, Celts, Ro- 
mans, Carthaginians, Teutons, Goths, Normans, Moors of 
Arab and Berber origin, and Jews, together with North Afri- 
can and some West African Negroes, have in various regions 
in differing numbers gone into the making of the populations 

44 Stockard, The Genetic and Endocrine Basis /or Differences in Form and 
Behavior, pp. 37-38, For an excellent independent criticism of Stockard's views 
see Lipschikz, El indioQmericanismo y el problema racial en las dme'ricas, pp. 


of the Iberian peninsula. Far more Negroes were absorbed 
into some of those populations in prehistoric times than have 
been since, and Negro genes were probably more widely dis- 
tributed throughout the populations of Spain and Portugal 
when both these nations were at the height of their power 
than were absorbed by them after they had embarked upon 
the slave trade in the middle of the fifteenth century. 

On the basis of such reasoning as Stockard's, the people of 
Portugal and Spain should never have been capable of attain- 
ing to anything like the degree of civilization which charac- 
terized them up to the middle of the seventeenth century, if 
Negro genes could possibly exert a deleterious effect upon a 
population and its cultural activities. In reality the absorp- 
tion or nonabsorption of Negro genes had nothing whatever 
to do with the yielding to others of the political and social 
leadership which Portugal and Spain had maintained in Eu- 
rope. An unprejudiced review of the evidence will show that 
this was entirely due to the far-reaching changes in the politi- 
cal and social fortunes of Europe as a whole, changes over 
which neither of these nations was in a position to exercise 
the least control, and also to the peculiar social and economic 
organization of the peoples of the Iberian peninsula itself. 45 
The loss of the Spanish Armada, for example, seriously un- 
dermined both the power and the prestige of Spain. The for- 
tunate intervention of a storm saved Britain from being re- 
duced to a vassal power and almost instantly reversed the 
fortunes and status of the two nations. Did genes have any- 
thing to do with the storm? No doubt there are some who 
would maintain that they did. 

Another case in point, to which Stockard does not refer, is 
ancient Greece. The civilization of ancient Greece was, all 
the evidence indicates, the creation of a highly hybridized 
people. The cranial 46 and cultural 47 evidence leaves little 

45 For an illuminating discussion of this see Brenan, The Spanish Labyrinth. 

46 For a recent analysis see Angel, "Report on the Skeletons Excavated at 
Olynthus," in Robinson, Excavations at Olynthus, and "A Racial Analysis of 
the Ancient Greeks," Amer. J. Phys., Anthrop. f NJS., II (1944), 329-76. 

47 Myres, Who Were the Greeks? 


doubt of that. The opponents of "mongrelization" would, no 
doubt, maintain that the ethnic elements which entered into 
the making of the Greeks were of a "desirable" type. But by 
what standard is desirability to be measured? Madison Grant 
would most certainly not have approved of some of the ele- 
ments which entered into the ancestry of Socrates, Plato, 
Aristotle, and Pericles. It is highly probable that these were 
at least partly of Mediterranean origin, not to mention the 
possibility of Eurafrican and Alpine elements. It should be 
clear that any judgment of desirability must be made on the 
objective basis of the results of hybridization, and the facts 
suggest that there is no form of human hybridization which 
by objective biological standards is undesirable. Those who 
take the opposite view have thus far been unable to produce 
any evidence in support of their thesis which would withstand 
a moment's critical examination. 

In individual cases certain unfavorable combinations of 
characters may occur, but such combinations are no more fre- 
quent under conditions of hybridization than they are under 
the opposite conditions. The point is that human populations 
are not, like the plants or dogs which the geneticist crosses, 
even relatively pure-bred lines or species. The peoples of the 
earth are not sufficiently different from one another to pro- 
duce the types of extreme or undesirable characters which are 
sometimes produced in plant and animal crosses of various 
sorts. The differences between men are simply not extreme 
enough, a truth which is itself proven by the fact of daily ex- 
perience that the offspring of unions between members of 
different ethnic groups show no more disharmonious or un- 
desirable characters than do offspring of unions between 
members of the same ethnic group. The determining factor 
in the organization of the new being, the offspring of any 
union, is the genetic constitution of the parents, and nothing 
else. Since the evidence leads us to believe that no human 
group is either better or worse than any other, it should be 
obvious that hybridization between human beings cannot lead 
to anything but an harmonious biological development. 


When we turn from Stockard's obiter dicta on hybridiza- 
tion to his experimental work, we discover that this suffers 
from the serious defect that many of his experimental animals 
represented highly selected artificial strains, some of which 
were hereditary defectives; such, for example, are the dachs- 
hund, the bulldog, and the pekingese. The crossing of such 
defective stocks with normal breeds of dogs will certainly re- 
sult in a number of defective offspring, and there will gener- 
ally be no more disharmony than was present in the original 
defective progenitor. To jump from such an effect to the gen- 
eral supposition that "race crossings may have tended to stim- 
ulate mutations and genie instability, thus bringing about 
freak reactions and functional disharmonies just as are found 
to occur among dogs," is to abandon the last vestiges of scien- 
tific procedure for the hobbyhorse of irresponsibility. 

In the first place, under normal conditions such defective 
animals would have become extinct within a very short time, 
since they could not possibly compete with normal animals. 
And in the second place, even if the survival of such animals 
could be imagined, such defects as they transmitted would be 
due, not to "race" crossing, but simply to the fact that at least 
one of the animals involved was defective. It is not "race" 
crossing that is the cause of the defect in the offspring, but the 
fact that one of the parents was a defective to begin with. As 
Castle has written in this connection: "Suppose that a white 
man who was affected with Huntington's chorea should marry 
a Negro woman and half their children should prove to be 
choreic (as in all probability they would), could we ascribe 
this unfortunate occurrence to race mixture? By no means, 
the same result would have followed had the wife been a white 
woman." * 8 

To associate defectiveness with any "race" of which he him- 
self is not a member is a common device of the racist, but in 
fact represents no more than a vicious invention which is thor- 
oughly controverted by the facts. 

*8 Castle, "Race Mixture and Physical Disharmonies," Science, LXXI (1930), 


An unprejudiced examination of the American Negro as a 
biological type 40 abundantly proves that he meets every test 
of biological fitness, while his vitality as measured by repro- 
ductive rates under adverse conditions exceeds that of the 
white population. 50 

The classical study of the descendants of Negroid- white 
mixtures is that made at the beginning of this century by Eu- 
gen Fischer on the Rehoboth Bastaards of South Africa. They 
are represented by some three thousand individuals who are 
the descendants principally of Dutch and Low German peas- 
ant mixtures with Hottentot women. 

If we were asked to name the two human types which would 
seem to stand at opposite extremes physically, we should have 
to place the Hottentot at one end and the white at the other. 
The Hottentot is very short, has peppercorn hair, is quite 
glabrous, yellowish, and loosely skinned, steatopygious, and 
in many cases characterized by the epicanthic fold commonly 
seen in Mongols. If disharmonies were likely to occur any- 
where, we should expect to find them here; the fact is, how- 
ever, that the Bastaards are an admirably and harmoniously 
developed people who show all the evidences of hybrid vigor 
most strikingly. They are taller than their parental stocks and 
considerably more fertile. 51 

These observations are more fully confirmed on a much 
larger variety of the inhabitants of South Africa by Lotsy and 
Goddijn. These investigators studied the crosses of Bushmen, 
Basutoes, Fingoes, Kaffirs, Mongoloids, Indians, whites, and 
many others, and their evidence unequivocally points to hy- 
brid vigor and perfectly harmonious and often strikingly 
beautiful types as the result of such crossings. 52 

49 Lewis, The Biology of the Negro; Cobb, "The Physical Constitution of 
the American Negro," Journal of Negro Education, III (1934), 340-88; Myrdal, 
An American Dilemma, pp. 137-53. See also Chapter XIII of the present 

BO Holmes, The Negro's Struggle for Survival; Lewis, The Biology of the 
Negro; Myrdal, An American Dilemma, pp. 157-81. 

BI Fischer, Die Rehobother Bastards und das Bastardierungsproblem beim 

M Lotsy and Goddijn, "Voyages of Exploration to Judge of the Bearing of 
Hybridization upon Evolution, I. South Africa," Genetica, X (1928), viii-3i5. 


In Brazil crossing between Negroes and whites has been 
going on for four hundred years. The population has in- 
creased by leaps and bounds, and the physical type of the 
descendants of such crosses is in every respect biologically and 
socially desirable. Innumerable Brazilians of mixed ancestry 
have attained the highest distinction in every walk of life. 58 

Similarly in Cuba, where conditions somewhat approxi- 
mate those existing in Brazil, the descendants of Negro-white 
crosses are generally recognized to be of particularly fine 
physical type and socially among the most progressive. 54 


Rodenwaldt, in a study of the Mongoloid Indonesian na- 
tive-white hybrids of the island of Kisar in the Timor archi- 
pelago found some evidence of hybrid vigor and no evidence 
of disharmony. In their physical and cultural characters the 
Kisarese were intermediate between the natives and the 
whites and considerably more fertile than either. 55 


Fleming examined 119 children who were the offspring of 
Chinese fathers and white mothers. In only one instance was 
there any evidence of any asymmetric or disharmonious physi- 
cal character in the hybrid. In a fourteen-year-old boy "One 
orbit was Chinese in shape, the eye dark opaque brown and 
the Mongoloid fold marked. The other orbit was English in 
type, eye colour the grey with a brown net so common in Eng- 
lish people, and there was no Mongolian fold." 56 Such ab- 
normalities of inheritance are obviously extremely rare, as is 
suggested both by Fleming's findings and experience. 

Japanese-white, Malayan-white, East Indian and white, 

G 3 Roquette-Pinto, "Contribuidio a anthropologia do Rrasil," Revista de 
Imigracdo e Colonizacao, III (1940); Pierson, Negroes in Brazil; Bilden, "Racial 
Mixture in Latin America with Special Reference to Brazil," in (Laidler, 
editor) The Role of the Races in Our Future Civilization, pp. 49-54. 

s* Personal communication of Professor Angulo y Gonzalez. 

55 Rodenwaldt, Die Mestizen auf Kisar. 

*> Fleming, "Physical Heredity among Human Hybrids/' Annals of Eugenics, 
IX (1939), 59- 


Arab-white, and Egyptian-white crosses, have not been at all 
thoroughly studied, but such evidence as we have indicates 
very strongly that the hybrids and the mixed-breeds resulting 
from these mixtures are in every way satisfactory types. 67 

The evidence here briefly summarized very definitely indi- 
cates that human hybridization and ethnic mixture leads, on 
the whole, to effects which are advantageous to the offspring 
and to the group. Harmful effects, physical disharmonies of 
various alleged kinds, are of the greatest rarity, and degen- 
eracies do not occur. 

In this connection it has often been said that one cannot 
get out of a mixture more than one puts into it. This is one 
of those facile generalizations which are too easily accepted 
by the uncritical. When we combine oxygen and hydrogen, 
we obtain water, which is more than each of the two elements 
alone could yield. When we combine tin and copper, we ob- 
tain an alloy, bronze, which has far greater strength and nu- 
merous other superior qualities than the unalloyed metals com- 
prising it; that is certainly getting more out of a mixture than 
what was put into it. When two pure-bred varieties of plants 
or animals unite to produce offspring, the latter often show 
many more desirable qualities and characters than the stocks 
from which they were derived. Surely "hybrid vigor" repre- 
sents the fact that something more has been obtained out of 
the mixture of the elements that were originally brought into 
association? To maintain the contrary would be to subscribe 
to a genetic fallacy. All offspring of unions between human 
beings represent the expression of a unique contribution of 
genes. Some of these combinations may result in individuals 
superior or inferior or similar to the parents, but invariably 
one always obtains something different out of the mixture 
than what originally entered into it. 

As Nabours has put it: "In a considerable number of hy- 
brids, to be sure, especially among the higher animals and 
man, some of the respective characteristics may be blended 
or arranged in mosaics in such manner as to indicate certain 

T ibid.; see also Dover, Half-Caste. 


: the qualities of the component races. Even so, such com- 
)sites generally exhibit, in addition, qualities extraneous to 
ly shown by the original organisms, and at the same time 
une of the properties of the latter are lost in the process. In 
iis category probably belongs the mulatto, many of whose 
aalities, in spite of certain degrees of blending, are super- 
jniently different from the mere sum or mosaic of the several 
laracteristics of the white and black races. The respective 
roperties of the ass and horse would not, by simple addition, 
mosaically, make a mule, and the cattalo is far from display- 
ig nothing but the sum or mosaics of the several attributes of 
uffalo and cattle. Nearly all the higher plants and animals 
hen hybridized and which are not? exhibit extraneous 
ualities such that they largely, or completely effect the dis- 
militude of the qualities of their several, contributive, pri- 
.ary races." 58 

All this, of course, does not mean that the emergent is inde- 
sndent of the genes that have entered into its making; it is, 
L fact, upon the genes contributed by each parent that, other 
mditions being equal, the combinations into which they en- 
:r to create the new individual will depend. 

Now it must be remembered that gene distributions are not 

> much a matter of the distribution of the genes of individ- 
als as of the distribution of genes within populations. It is 
ot, therefore, a matter of speaking in terms of two individ- 
als who, characterized by either a superior or a mediocre 
isortment of genes, transmit them to their offspring, but of 
le continuous interchange and shuffling and reshuffling of 
/ery kind of gene within a population to yield a very large 
umber of gene combinations. Some of these will be superior 

> others; in fact, there will be every possible form of varia- 
on within the limits set by the genetic equipment of the 
opulation. This is true of all populations. No population 
as a monopoly of good genes, and no population has a mo- 
opoly of bad genes; normal and defective genes are found 
i all populations of all human beings. Furthermore, it is 

ss Nabours, "Emergent Evolution and Hybridism," Science, LXXI (1930), 574. 


most unlikely that the kind of defective genes distributed in 
one population will be found to occur in anything like as 
great a frequency, if at all, in another population or ethnic 

As Jennings writes: "In view of the immense number of 
genes carried by individuals of each race, and their separate 
history up to the time of the cross, the relatively few defects 
that have arisen are almost certain to affect genes of different 
pairs in the two. Hence when the races cross, the individuals 
produced will receive a normal gene from one parent or the 
other in most of their gene pairs; and since the normal gene 
usually manifests its effect, the offspring of the cross will have 
fewer gene defects than either of the parents." 69 In a later 
work Jennings adds: "Thus the offspring of diverse races 
may be expected to be superior in vigor, and presumably in 
other characteristics. . . . Data on this point are not abun- 
dant, but it is probable that hybrid vigor is an important 
and advantageous feature of race crosses in man/' 60 

Furthermore, genes peculiar to each group are contributed 
by the parents to the offspring, and these genes express them- 
selves in new traits and characters not possessed by either of 
the parents or their stocks. It is in this process that the creative 
power of "race" mixture shows itself. 

The fact is that all the ethnic groups and varieties of man- 
kind are characterized by biologically fit qualities; were this 
not so, they could not possibly have survived to the present 
time. Hence, when they are crossed, it is not surprising that 
the hybrids should show qualities which are capable of pass- 
ing every test of biological fitness and efficiency. True hybrids 
are, of course, only the first filial generation of crosses; but 
since all human hybrids are polyhybrids that is, hybrid for 
a very large number of genes hybridization in mixed human 

C9 Jennings, The Biological Basis of Human Nature, p. 280. 

eo Jennings, "The Laws of Heredity and Our Present Knowledge of Human 
Genetics on the Material Side," in Scientific Aspects of the Race Problem, p. 
71. As "probable" disadvantages of "race" crossing Jennings refers to Daven- 
port and Steggerda's inferences from their observations on Jamaican white 
and Negro crosses. Jennings, however, admits that "critical and unambiguous 
data on this matter are difficult to obtain for man," p. 72. 


populations will often extend over a period of many genera- 
tions. Thus, because of such polyhybridization over several 
generations, the tendency will be to add more and more new 
genes to the common stock and for a considerable number of 
generations (depending upon the size of the population) to 
maintain a high degree of variability or heterogeneity. Cer- 
tainly some poor combinations of genes will occur in indi- 
vidual cases, resulting in some mediocre individuals, but these 
will take their chances with the rest, contributing perhaps a 
genius or two, or perhaps a few politicians, to the population 
before passing on their way or else being selectively elimi- 

Ernst Kretschmer, the great student of human constitu- 
tional typology, found in his study of genius that most gen- 
iuses were of mixed ethnic ancestry. 61 He goes on to say: "One 
may assume, with some probability, that the rise of lofty civil- 
izations, blossoming with genius, at other times and in other 
races and nations, was caused by a similar biological process 
of cross-breeding. For in individual human biology too, suita- 
ble cross-breeding gives rise to richly-developed 'hybrids' who 
easily outgrow the parental types from which they have 
sprung. The breeding of genius is thus assimilated to the same 
process which, in specialist biology, is known as the 'luxuria- 
tion' of hybrids [hybrid vigor]. Hence highly developed civil- 
izations are usually produced within a definite time interval 
after the migrations of peoples and the invasions of conquer- 
ing tribes which have gradually mixed themselves with the 
native populations." 62 

Kretschmer points out that it is an error to assume that the 
immigrating or invading group, as such, has brought genius 
with it, but rather that the blossoming of a new civilization is 
due to hybridization alone. This view would, however, tend 
to make the progress of culture dependent on biological fac- 

3i Before this two geneticists, East and Jones, had stated that "the great in- 
dividuals of Europe, the leaders in thought, have come in greater numbers 
from peoples having very large amounts of ethnic mixture." Inbreeding and 
Outbreeding, p. 99. 

2 Kretschmer, The Psychology of Men of Genius, p. 99. 


tors, whereas it should be evident that it is cultural hybridiza- 
tion, not biological hybridization, which is principally, if not 
entirely, responsible for such blossomings of culture. 

The more unlike two human mating groups are genetically, 
the more likely it is that for many characters the hybrid off- 
spring will be superior to either of the parental groups and 
will be a mosaic of their characters for the rest. It is far less 
likely that the offspring of such matings will exhibit anything 
like the frequency of defective characters which occurs in 
matings between members of the same ethnic group. This is 
due to the fact that most defective genes are carried in the 
recessive state and are more likely to be matched within the 
carrier's own ethnic group than in some other. Furthermore, 
genes for certain desirable characters unique to different eth- 
nic groups are, of course, carried in the dominant state, and 
the offspring of such crosses will show the effects of the com- 
bination of these genes not only in the expression of certain 
characters of the parental stocks but also in others which are 
themselves unique. 

While it may be true of plants that in some cases hybrids 
will combine many of the undesirable traits of both parental 
stocks, the traits of human beings over a large area of the globe 
are such that, when under hybridization they do combine, 
there appears to be a gain on the whole rather than a loss in 
biological fitness. This is a fact which has not been sufficiently 
emphasized, and it is one of the first importance. It would 
seem that all the ethnic groups of mankind possess qualities 
which under hybridization result, on the whole, in the emer- 
gence of novel and biologically fit types, not in reversionary 
unfit ones. The latter types are very definitely the rare excep- 
tions, which in the course of time are naturally eliminated; 
the former survive and reproduce not only their kind but also, 
again under conditions of hybridization, new kinds. 

It will be seen, then, that the beliefs relating to the alleged 
harmfulness of human hybridization are quite erroneous and 
that they constitute a part of the great mythology of "race." 
The truth is that ethnic group mixture constitutes one of the 


greatest creative powers in the progress of mankind. Professor 
F. H. Hankins has written that "in the ever-changing texture 
of racial qualities and the infinite combinations still to be 
made there may in the future arise race blends quite as excel- 
lent as those which produced the Age of Pericles, the wonder- 
ful thirteenth century, the Renaissance, or the present era in 
European civilization." 6S It is possible to go even farther than 
this and say that the future will see race blends not only "quite 
as excellent," but also undoubtedly greatly superior to those 
referred to. Superior in the very real sense that they will lack 
many of the defective qualities of which all ethnic groups are 
today more or less carriers. 

We may conclude in the words of a great American biolo- 
gist: "So far as a biologist can see, human race problems are 
not biological problems any more than rabbit crosses are so- 
cial problems. The rabbit breeder does not cross his selected 
races of rabbits unless he desires to improve upon what he 
has. The sociologist who is satisfied with human' society as 
now constituted may reasonably decry race crossing. But let 
him do so on social grounds only. He will wait in vain, if he 
waits to see mixed races vanish from any biological unfit- 

68 Hankins, The Racial Basis of Civilization, p, 351. This work contains an 
excellent discussion ot "race" mixture. 

64 Castle, "Biological and Social Consequences of Race Crossing," Amer, J. 
Phys. Anthrop., IX (1926), 156, 



HUMAN BEINGS are exceedingly complex structures, and 
it is never at any time an easy thing to analyze the mo- 
tives involved in their behavior. The fact is that the 
individual himself is rarely able to give a satisfactory account 
of the motives for his conduct, since the elements entering 
into it are usually both numerous and complex. One should 
therefore be wary in attempting to interpret the behavior of 
others. This applies with especial force to eugenists. Eugenists 
are persons who believe that the human race, or their particu- 
lar branch of it, is rapidly decaying and that if the race is to be 
made safe for the future, steps must be taken to eliminate the 
undesirable decay-producing elements and to bring about a 
general improvement in man's physical and mental structure 
by selective breeding. Eugenics means good breeding. Galton, 
its founder, defined it as "the science of improving stock, 
which is by no means confined to questions of judicious mat- 
ing but which, especially in the case of man, takes cognizance 
of all influences that tend in however remote a degree to give 
to the more suitable races or strains of blood a better chance 
of prevailing speedily over the less suitable than they other- 
wise would have had." J It is quite clear from this definition 
that the founder of eugenics was convinced of the existence 
of "higher" and "lower," "superior" and "inferior," "races," 
and that he considered it a desirable thing that the "superior" 
"races" should prevail over the "inferior" "races," and that as 
speedily as possible. Thus, we perceive that implicit in the 
eugenic movement from the outset was the doctrine of racism. 
Eugenists are, in general, sincerely enthusiastic persons who 
are honestly anxious to be of service to their fellows, not to 
mention future generations, but they are also very dangerous 
persons. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and a great 

i Galton, Inquiries into Human Faculty. 


deal of the world's unhappiness is due to well-meaning per- 
sons who, possessing a little knowledge, attempt on the basis 
of it to make decisions for others whose true nature they do 
not understand and whose future it would be impossible for 
anyone to predict. It is to be feared that a large number of the 
most vocal eugenists fall into this category. Furthermore, it is 
known that the sins of some eugenists are less venial than the 
sins of those who have merely acted on the basis of half-baked 
knowledge. In this country, and elsewhere, eugenics was early 
converted into a movement in the service of class interests, as 
is so well exemplified by the writings of such men as the late 
Madison Grant and Henry Fairfield Osborn, to name but two. 
Professor E. G. Conklin writes: "Nowadays one hears a lot of 
high sounding talk about 'human thoroughbreds,' which usu- 
ally means that those who use this phrase desire to see certain 
narrow and exclusive social classes perpetuated by close in- 
breeding; it usually has no reference to good hereditary traits 
wherever found, indeed such traits would not be recognized if 
they appeared outside of 'the four hundred.' Such talk proba- 
bly does neither harm nor good; the 'social thoroughbreds' 
are so few in number and so nearly sterile that the mass of the 
population is not affected by these exclusive classes." 2 

So long as no attempt is made to impose such views upon 
the population, no great harm can be done. All of us, how- 
ever, have some knowledge of the tragic effects of the teaching 
of mythological "race" doctrines and of the practice of "race" 
hygiene in Germany. Similar attempts have frequently been 
made in this country, bills having been introduced into state 
legislatures, and passed in thirty of them, making it a criminal 
offense or unlawful for persons of different colors or "races" 
to intermarry, as well as for those who in any way assist such 
a union. 3 Such activities, among others, have caused eugenics 
to fall into disrepute among scientific students of genetics, the 
science of heredity upon which eugenics is alleged to be based. 
The clear stream of science must not be polluted by the murky 

2 Conklin, Heredity and Environment, p. 306. 
s See Appendix D. 


visions of politicians and the prescriptions of effete castes dis- 
tinguished by an hypertrophied sense of their own impor- 

While it is praiseworthy to look forward to and to work for 
a more humane humanity and a world with fewer imbeciles, 
degenerates, and criminals and greater numbers of highly in- 
telligent and healthy individuals, it is quite certain that such 
a state could never be achieved by such practices as the euge- 
nists have in the past recommended. 4 Inherited disorders, such 
as certain types of feeblemindedness, call for sterilization; 
common humanity demands that, but one is deceived if one 
believes that by such measures feeblemindedness would be 
very appreciably reduced. Were every feebleminded indi- 
vidual to be sterilized for the next two thousand years, the 
reduction in the number of feebleminded individuals in the 
population at the end of that time would not exceed 50 per- 
cent. It is a very long time to have to wait for such a return. 
Superior methods are available, but they do not appeal to 
eugenists, who fail to understand that engenics should be a 
social science, not a biological one. 

In offering their dubious cures for our alleged ills the ex- 
tremists among eugenists go even farther and pretend to per- 
ceive biological differences between "races.' 1 They arbitrarily 
designate as "superior" the "race" or stock to which they hap- 
pen to belong and as "inferior" all or most of the others. The 
corollary to this is that "race mixture" should be prevented 
if "racial" degeneration, according to their definition, is not 
to ensue. It is with this aspect of eugenics that we are con- 
cerned here. 

The term "race," as we have seen, is an unscientific one. 
Science knows of nothing in the real world relating to human 
beings which in any way corresponds to what this term is 
usually assumed to mean, that is, a group of individuals 
marked off from all others by a distinctive heredity and the 

* I say "past," because at the present time there are very happy evidences 
of a return to sanity among eugenists. See, for example, Frederick Osborn's A 
to Eugenic?. 


possession of particular physical and mental characters. In 
this sense there is actually only one race, or one thing which 
corresponds to it, and that is the human race, embracing every 
human being. It is, of course, clear that there exist certain 
groups within the human race which are characterized by dif- 
ferences in pigmentation, hair form, and nose form. These 
we have already called "ethnic groups/* If, as seems clear, all 
human groups are derived from a common ancestry, then it 
is also clear that such differences represent the expression of 
the combined action of mutant genes, hybridization, natural 
and social selection. In any event, such ethnic groups would 
by the fact of their very existence prove, in the scale of natural 
values, biologically fit. There can, therefore, be no argument 
on the score of the physical or biological structure of any 
ethnic group unless an appeal be made to purely arbitrary 
and irrelevant aesthetic standards. Actually, the argument is 
always based on the existence of alleged mental and cultural 
differences; these are invariably assumed to be biologically 
determined. For such an assumption there is not, as we have 
seen, a scrap of evidence. On the contrary, the substantial body 
of evidence now available proves that when the members of 
any variety of mankind are given for the first time adequate 
opportunities, they do, on the average, quite as well as any 
who have long enjoyed the advantages of such opportunities. 
And as Boas has said, "if we were to select the most intelligent, 
imaginative, energetic and emotionally stable third of man- 
kind, all races would be represented." 6 

There exists no evidence whatever that mental ability and 
cultural achievement are functions which are in any way 
associated with genes linked with those for skin color, hair 
form, nose shape, or any other physical character. It is, there- 
fore, from the genetic standpoint, impossible to say anything 
about a person's mental ability or cultural achievement on 
the basis of such physical characters alone. Cultural differ- 
ences between peoples are due to a multiplicity of historical 
causes which have nothing whatever to do with genes and 

Boas, Anthropology and Modern Life. 


which are essentially and fundamentally of a social nature; 
to the same causes are due the differences in the cultural 
conduct of the members of those different cultures. Hence, 
on biological grounds and as a consequence of the common 
ancestry of all peoples however much they may differ from 
one another in their physical characters there is every rea- 
son to believe that innate mental capacity is more or less 
equally distributed in all its phases in all human groups. If 
this is so, and this is a matter which can be tested, there can 
be not the slightest justification for the assertion that ethnic 
mixture would lead to the intellectual deterioration of any 
people. The evidence is all to the contrary, as the frequency 
of the phenomenon of hybrid vigor among human beings 

In this connection Huxley has written that he regards it as 
"wholly probable that true Negroes have a slightly lower 
average intelligence than the whites or yellows. But neither 
this nor any other eugenically significant point of racial dif- 
ference has yet been scientifically established. 

"Further, even were the probability to be established that 
some 'races' and some classes are genetically inferior to others 
as a fact, it seems certain, on the basis of our present knowl- 
edge, that the differences would be small differences in aver- 
age level, and that the ranges would overlap over most of their 
extent in other words, that a considerable proportion of the 
'inferior' group would be actually superior to the lower half 
of the 'superior* group. Thus no really rapid eugenic progress 
would come of encouraging the reproduction of one class or 
race against another." 6 

Huxley has committed a common methodological error here 
when he gives it as his opinion that true Negroes probably 
have a slightly lower average intelligence than whites or yel- 
lows. The question must be asked: "Average intelligence 
measured by what standard?" Surely, it should at this late date 
be evident that intelligence, by whatever standard it is meas- 
ured, is always a function of cultural experience as well as of 

Julian S. Huxley, Man Stands Alone, p. 53. 


inherent quality. The fact that this is so is strikingly brought 
out with reference to the Negroes themselves and in relation 
to whites by the results obtained in the Army intelligence tests 
carried out on Negro and white recruits during the first 
World War. These tests showed that Northern Negro recruits 
invariably did better on the tests than Southern Negro re- 
cruits. The tests also showed that Negroes from certain North- 
ern states on the whole did better in the tests than white re- 
cruits from almost all the Southern states. Here are the 
median scores of the groups compared. 





Whites Negroes 

Median Median 

State Score State Score 

Arkansas 35-6o Ohio 45-35 

Mississippi 37-65 Illinois 42.25 

North Carolina 38.20 Indiana 4 x -55 

Georgia 39-35 New York 38.60 

Louisiana 41.10 

Alabama 4 1 -35 

Kentucky 41-50 

Oklahoma 43-oo 

Texas 43.45 

Tennessee 44.00 

South Carolina 45-5 

a Computed from the data in Yerkes (editor) Psychological Examining in the 
United States Army, Tables 205-6, pp. 690 and 691. Data for the Negro re- 
cruits was available for only twenty-four out of the forty-eight states and the 
District of Columbia. Had data been available for all areas of the United 
States it is quite probable that several more states would have shown higher 
median scores for Negroes than for whites of some other states. 

From this Table it will be seen that the Negroes from Ohio 
with a median score of 45.35 did better than the whites of 
eleven States, all of which happen to be Southern. The Ne- 
groes of Illinois with a score of 42.25 and the Negroes of Indi- 
ana with a score of 41.55 did better than the whites from seven 


Southern States, while the Negroes from New York with a 
score of 38.60 did better than the whites from three Southern 
States. The Negroes from the Northern States who did better 
than the Negroes and whites from the Southern States listed, 
did so not because of any inborn differences between them, 
but because the social and economic opportunities of the 
Northern Negroes had been superior to those enjoyed by 
Southern Negroes and whites. 7 The results of these tests have 
been fully corroborated by tests made on Northern and South- 
ern Negro children. 8 

It is quite possible that there exist differences in the distri- 
bution of the kinds of temperament and intelligence in dif- 
ferent ethnic groups, but if such differences exist, they must, 
as Huxley has pointed out, be very small. The important fact 
is, surely, that every living ethnic group has survived to the 
present time because it has been able to meet the demands of 
its particular environment or environments with a high order 
of intelligence and the necessary physical vigor. This is a truth 
which holds for the most isolated group of aborigines as for 
the most highly cultured peoples. Measured by such stand- 
ards, it seems probable that there are no significant differences 
in the intelligence potentials of different ethnic groups. 

When eugenists assert that there has been a great increase 
in degeneracy, criminality, 9 and feeblemindedness and that 

7 When, in a pamphlet entitled The Races of Mankind published in Oc- 
tober 1943, the authors, Drs. Ruth Benedict and Gene Weltfish, quoted the 
median scores obtained on the Army Intelligence tests by whites from three 
Southern states and compared them with the superior scores obtained by 
Negroes from three Northern states, and drew the same conclusions as have 
been drawn above, a House Military Affairs Committee headed by a Southern 
member of the United States Congress caused the suppression of this pamphlet 
for use by the United States Army. For an account of the facts see Montagu, 
"The Intelligence of Southern Whites and Northern Negroes," Psychiatry, 
VII (1944), 183-89. For a complete analysis of the test results see Montagu, 
"Intelligence of Northern Negroes and Southern Whites in The First World 
War," American Journal of Psychology, Vol. LXVIII (1945). 

8 Klineberg, Negro Intelligence and Selective Migration. 

9 For an analysis of the problem of crime in our society see Montagu, "The 
Biologist Looks at Crime," Annals of the Academy of Political and Social 
Science, CCXVII (1941), 46-57; Merton and Montagu, "Crime and the An- 
thropologist/' American Anthropologist, XLII (1940), 384-408; Bonger, Race 
and Crime; Barnes and Teeters, New Horizons in Criminology. 


the race is rapidly deteriorating, they do so generally without 
benefit of a full knowledge of the facts whereof they speak, 
for the truth is that except for the ex cathedra manner in 
which such statements are usually delivered, little real evi- 
dence is ever forthcoming in support of their Jeremiads. The 
good will to help is blind and often cruel if it is not guided by 
true insight based on knowledge. A physician can be of use 
only when he has first carefully investigated the cause of dis- 
ease and when it is quite clear what his remedies can effect; 
otherwise he is a positive danger. 

Dr. Irving Langmuir, in a recent presidential address to the 
American Association for the Advancement of Science, ut- 
tered a very pertinent criticism in this connection. "We often 
hear realists," he said, "deplore the effects of chanty which 
tend to keep the unfit alive. We are even told that the whole 
course of evolution may be revised in this way. Similar argu- 
ments could be used against the surgeon who removes an ap- 
pendix or a doctor who uses a sulfa drug to cure pneumonia. 

"But what is the need of developing a race immune to ap- 
pendicitis or pneumonia if we possess means of preventing 
their ill-effects. The characteristics that determine fitness 
merely change from those of immunity to those which deter- 
mine whether a race is able to provide good medical treat- 
ment." 10 

Today our many varieties of recording facilities are im- 
measurably superior to those in existence a hundred years 
ago, and our hospitals, physicians, asylums, police, and in- 
centives to crime are vastly more numerous. Yet, in spite of all 
these tokens of decline the expectation of life of the average 
individual has in modern times practically doubled, while 
some of the worst scourges of mankind, such as the vitamin- 
deficiency diseases, the venereal diseases, typhoid, typhus, yel- 
low fever, diphtheria, tuberculosis, and many others, have 
been brought under control. During this period there has 
been such a burgeoning of invention and discovery, such a 
flowering of intellectual development, as the world has never 

10 Langmuir, "Science, Common Sense and Decency," Science, XCVI1 (1943), 6. 


before witnessed; and all this, presumably, as a sort of efflo- 
rescence of the process of deterioration. The swan song of a 
world the eugenist never made. Or have the great achieve- 
ments of the last hundred years, perhaps, been due to the 
genius of a few individuals who have managed to carry the 
burden of the mediocrities along with them? This is a view 
which is frequently urged by "superior'* persons. It is a sad 
commentary upon the understanding and the charity of those 
who hold it, and it does scant justice to untold millions of 
individuals who were never given a chance, who made good as 
best they knew how which was more often than not as best 
they were permitted and who died unremembered and 

Let us give human beings equal social, cultural, and eco- 
nomic opportunities, and then we shall be able to judge how 
many, if any, genetically inadequate individuals we have 
among us. We shall then be in a position to judge the nature of 
the biological measures which ought to be instituted to ensure 
the welfare of our species. Surely it should be clear that these 
measures would not really be biological, but social, and that in 
their effects the social advantages would always be greater than 
the biological ones. This would, surely, be the most reasonable 
procedure, in view of the fact that in most cases it would take 
many hundreds of years to eliminate, even partially, a single 
defective trait. Only a few generations would be required for 
a purely social process to determine whether or not many of the 
alleged deteriorative factors which are said to be undermin- 
ing the health of the "race" could be eliminated by improv- 
ing the social environment. Our present social ills are for the 
most part produced, not by genetically inadequate individ- 
uals, but by socially inadequate ones, and the remedy for 
those ills therefore lies first in the improvement of the social 
environments of our species. Our troubles, it must be repeated, 
emanate, not from biological defectives, but from social de- 
fectives; and social defectives are produced by society, not by 
genes. Obviously, it is social, not biological, therapy that is 


The great fallacy committed by eugenists, and by many 
others, is that, having to some extent followed the work of 
the geneticists in "breeding certain characters in lower animals 
within the walls of a laboratory, they have extrapolated from 
the laboratory findings on such lower animals to conditions 
vastly more complex and obscure, and which have, more- 
over, never formed the subject of experimental investigation. 
Human beings are not representative of strains similar to the 
highly selected pure strains of mice and rabbits which form 
the geneticist's material. Nai've and uninformed persons be- 
lieve that if in the geneticist's breeding laboratory the genetics 
of a certain character is studied and the experimenter can at 
will breed his animals for that character, the same thing can be 
done for human beings. Theoretically and under certain ideal 
conditions and given scores of generations of selected human 
beings this could be done for some, but not for all, charac- 
ters. Obviously this is quite impractical; if it were practical, it 
would still be open to question whether it would be desira- 
ble. 11 Unlike most eugenists, we frankly confess that we do not 
possess all the answers. The truth is that we do not yet know 
enough about human heredity to meddle with human beings 
in order to improve the stock. Two mediocrities may produce 
a genius; two geniuses may produce a mediocrity. In view of 
the fact that the genes for defective characters are frequently 
carried in the recessive condition, it is generally impossible to 
spot them in apparently otherwise normal individuals, and it 

11 While breeding for certain desirable characters in plants or lower animals, 
it frequently happens that certain undesirable characters are developed. The 
genes for these, carried as recessives, under normal conditions remain unex- 
pressed, but under controlled breeding find expression because of their un- 
suspected linkage with the genes of the character considered desirable. For 
example, Asdell has recently observed that "all the intersexual goats he had 
seen (about 200 now) were hornless. Hornlessness is inherited as a simple dom- 
inant. Since then much inquiry and observation have failed to unearth a 
single intersex. If they exist, they must be very rare. This suggests that there 
is a close linkage between the two genes, an important point economically, 
since selection for hornlessness has been practiced by pedigree goat breeders 
for some time. The goat breeders have evidently been increasing the gene 
frequency for intersex by selecting for hornlessness and are thus doing them- 
selves harm." Asdell, "The Genetic Sex of Intersexual Goats and a Probable 
Linkage with the Gene for Hornlessness," Science, XCIX (1944), 124. 


is in most cases therefore impossible to predict when they are 
likely to crop out. Selective breeding, as understood by the 
eugenist, is inbreeding, and that is a notoriously dangerous 
process, for by such means the chances are greatly increased of 
bringing together recessives of a character detrimental to the 
organism. By outbreeding such recessives become associated 
with dominants and therefore remain unexpressed. When 
selection is practiced on animals, we keep only those animals 
which exhibit a particular character; the others, showing un- 
desirable characters, are killed. Mankind, it is very much to 
be feared, is not to be saved by being treated like a lot of race 
horses or a strain of dogs, at the fancier's discretion. Human 
beings must be treated like human beings first and only sec- 
ondarily, if at all, as if they were animals; for the ills from 
which our particular sample of mankind suffers result from 
the misuse of man's capacities for being human. Those ills 
are not due to the totally irrelevant fact that man is a member 
of the animal kingdom subject to the laws of genetics as is any 
other mammal. 

In effect eugenists tell us that by random mating defective 
characters are accumulated in the recessive state until the 
whole population becomes affected. The defects so carried will 
then become expressed and will wreak havoc upon such a 
population/ Upon this kind of fantastic reasoning Dobzhansky 
has made the following adequate comment: 

"It is not an easy matter to evaluate the significance of the 
accumulation of germinal changes in the population geno- 
types. Judged superficially, a progressive saturation of the 
germ plasm of a species with mutant genes a majority of which 
are deleterious in their effects is a destructive process, a sort of 
deterioration of the genotype which threatens the very exist- 
ence of the species and can finally lead only to its extinction. 
The eugenical Jeremiahs keep constantly before our eyes the 
nightmare of human populations accumulating recessive genes 
that produce pathological effects when homozygous. These 
prophets of doom seem to be unaware of the fact that wild 
species in the state of nature fare in this respect no better than 


man does with all the artificiality of his surroundings, and 
yet life has not come to an end on this planet. The eschatologi- 
cal cries proclaiming the failure of natural selection to operate 
in human populations have more to do with political beliefs 
than with scientific findings." 12 

Certainly we could do a great deal to reduce the number 
of the hopelessly defective among us. It is also important to 
realize that thousands upon thousands of seriously defective 
individuals are today alive who under natural conditions 
would not have survived long. It should, however, be clear 
that wherever in an ethnic group or nation such individuals 
exist they constitute a problem which can be attacked by social 
means alone social means based upon humane social princi- 
ples and sound scientific knowledge. To proceed on the basis 
of one without the other would be dangerous and undesirable. 

It is among the white peoples of the earth that there are 
the most defectives. The materially less advanced peoples of 
the earth generally kill off their defectives as soon as the 
defect, or anything approximating a defect in their eyes, be- 
comes apparent. Such heroic measures are, fortunately, re- 
placeable by more effective means of prevention; this is a mat- 
ter for each people to determine for itself, following proce- 
dures agreed upon preferably in international conference. At 
the present time the normal healthy individual is in all ethnic 
groups far more numerous than the defective individual, and 
the chances are excellent that crossbreeding between such 
groups will decrease rather than increase the incidence of 
defectives. Hence, we may conclude that there is nothing in 
the nature of any ethnic group, taken as a whole, which could 
upon either genetic pr eugenic grounds be construed as lead- 
ing to any bad effects under crossing. 

In conclusion, then, it would seem evident that until man 
has put his social house in order, it would be unwise for him 
to indulge in any strenuous biological exercises, for a rickety 
house on shaky foundations is not the proper place for such 

12 Dobzhansky, Genetics and the Origin of Species* ist ed., p. 126. 



>^^v UESTIONS often asked are: "Why is it that the cultures 
I of different 'races* differ so much from one another? Is 

7^^ this due to the fact that 'race' and culture are insepara- 

^^^bly connected?" 

The answer to these questions is really quite simple. Cul- 
tures differ from one another to the extent to which the experi- 
ence of the interacting group has differed. By "experience" I 
mean anything that an individual or a group of individuals 
has undergone or lived, perceived or sensed. No matter with 
what variety of mankind we may be concerned or with what 
groups of a particular variety, culture is in its broadest and 
fundamental sense, not merely an aspect, but a function of 
experience. As Eric Kahler says, "Historical evidence proves 
beyond doubt that the exact opposite of what the so-called 
race theory pretends is true: any decisive advance in human 
evolution has been accomplished not by breeds that are pure 
either mentally or physically, not by any cultural inbreeding, 
but by an intermixture, by mutual impregnation of different 
stocks and cultures." x 

The reason the cultures of other varieties of man are so 
different from our own is that they have been exposed to 
experiences which differ as considerably from our own as do 
the cultures in question. If you or I, with our present genetic 
background, had been born and brought up among a group of 
Australian aborigines, we should be, culturally, Australian 
aborigines, though physically we should have remained mem- 
bers of our own ethnic group. For experience is determined by 
the place and the culture in which groups and individuals 
live, and for this reason groups and individuals belonging to 
different cultures will differ mentally from one another. Our 
physical structures would not have varied significantly, be- 

i Kahler, Man the Measure, p. 30. 


cause they were for the most part genetically determined by 
our present parents; but our cultural equipment would have 
been that of the Australian aborigines. Why? Because culture 
and by "culture" I understand the customs, ideals, and ma- 
terial products of a particular society is something that one 
acquires by experience, unlike one's physical appearance, 
which one acquires through the action, for the most part, of 
inherited genes; the culture of individuals, as of groups, will 
differ according to the kinds of experience which they have 
undergone. The culture of different peoples, as of different 
individuals, is to a very large extent a reflection of their past 
history or experience. This is a point which is worth more 
than laboring. If the cultural status of any variety of man is 
determined merely by the kind of experience which it has 
undergone, then it is evident that by giving all people the op- 
portunity to enjoy a common experience supposing for the 
moment that this were desirable all varieties would become 
culturally and mentally equal, that is, equal in the sense that 
they would have benefited from exposure to the same kind of 
experience, always allowing, of course, for the fact that no 
two individuals can ever be alike in their reception of and 
reaction to the same experience and that there will always, 
very fortunately, continue to exist great differences between 
individuals. There can be very little doubt that genetic dif- 
ferences in temperament and intellectual capacity exist be- 
tween the individuals comprising every variety of mankind, no 
two individuals in this respect ever being alike; but it takes the 
stimulus of a common experience to bring them out and to 
render them comparable. It is because of differences in cul- 
tural experience that individuals and groups differ from one 
another culturally, and it is for this reason that cultural 
achievement is an exceedingly poor measure of the value of 
an individual or of a group. 

For all practical purposes, and until evidence to the con- 
trary is forthcoming, we can safely take cultural achievement 
to be the expression merely of cultural experience. Obviously, 
all learned activities are culturally, not biologically, deter- 


mined, whether those activities be based upon physiologic 
urges or traditional practices. The generalized urges which all 
human beings inherit in common continue to be present in all 
human beings in all cultures; but how these urges are per- 
mitted to operate and how they are satisfied is something 
which is determined by tradition and varies not only in dif- 
ferent cultures but in different groups within the same cul- 
ture. For example, one of the fundamental urges which we 
all inherit is the urge to eat. Now, different human groups, 
to whom the same foodstuffs may or may not be available, not 
only eat different foods, but prepare them in unique ways, 
and consume them, with or without implements, in various 
ways, usually established only by custom. The faculty of 
speech is biologically determined, but what we speak and how 
we speak is determined by what we hear in the culture in 
which we have been culturalized. Human beings everywhere 
experience when they are tired, the desire to rest, to sit down, 
to lie down, or to sleep; but the manner in which they do all 
these things is culturally determined by the customs of the 
group in which they live. Many other instances will doubtless 
occur to the reader. The point to grasp here is that even our 
fundamental biological urges are culturally controlled and 
regulated or culturalized and that their very forms and ex- 
pressions, not to mention satisfactions, are molded according 
to the dictates of tradition. 

In view of the tremendous number of different cultural 
variables which enter into the structure and functioning of 
different groups and the individuals composing them, it is 
surely the most gratuitous, as it is the most unscientific, pro- 
cedure to assert anything concerning assumed genetic condi- 
tions without first attempting to discover what part these cul- 
tural variables play in the production of what is predicated. 
Obviously, no statement concerning the mentality of an in- 
dividual or of a group is of any value without a specification 
of the environment in which that mentality has developed. 
The introduction of genetics as the deus ex machina of ge- 
netics to account for the cultural differences between people 


may be a convenient device for those who must do everything 
in their power, except study the actual facts, to find some sort 
of support for their prejudices, but it is a device which 
will hardly satisfy the requirements of an efficient scientific 
method. Such devices must be accepted in a charitable spirit 
as the perverse efforts of some of our misguided fellows to 
conceal the infirmities of their own minds by depreciating the 
minds of others. John Stuart Mill, almost one hundred years 
ago, in 1848, in his Principles of Political Economy, put the 
stamp upon this type of conduct very forcibly; he wrote, "Of 
all the vulgar modes of escaping from the consideration of the 
effect of social and moral influences on the human mind, the 
most vulgar is that of attributing the diversities of conduct and 
character to inherent natural differences/' While the number 
of people guilty of this vulgar error has greatly increased since 
Mill's day, the number who know it to be false has also greatly 
increased, and there is no need of despair for the future. The 
facts which are now available concerning the peoples of the 
earth render it quite clear that they are all very definitely 
brothers under the skin. 

It is, perhaps, too much to expect that those who have been 
educated in the contrary belief will accept such a view, but the 
least we can do is to provide the children in our schools with 
an honest account of the facts instead of filling their guiltless 
heads with the kinds of prejudice that we find distributed 
through so many of the books and so much of the teaching 
with which they are provided. Surely, a sympathetic under- 
standing of people who behave "differently" and look "dif- 
ferent" cannot help but broaden one's horizons and lead to 
better human relationships all around. Socially, this is, of 
course, greatly to be desired, and in the United States a be- 
ginning has already been made in this direction in several 
American cities. 2 Such enterprises, however, must be multi- 
plied several thousand times. Here, obviously, there is a great 
deal of work to be done. 

But let us return to our main discussion, for though school 

2 See Appendix A. 


children and others have frequently heard of physical relativ- 
ity, few, if any, children, and hardly anyone else, ever encoun- 
ter the concept of cultural relativity. 3 From the standpoint of 
the well-being and happiness of mankind the latter is a vastly 
more important conception to grasp than the former. By "cul- 
tural relativity" I mean that all cultures must be judged in 
relation to their own history, and all individuals and groups in 
relation to their cultural history, and definitely not by the 
arbitrary standard of any single culture such, for example, as 
our own. Judged in relation to its own history, each culture 
is seen as the resultant of the reactions to the conditions which 
that history may or may not record. If those conditions have 
been limited in nature, so will the culture reflecting their 
effects. If the conditions have been many and complex in 
character, then the culture will reflect that complexity. Cul- 
ture is essentially a relation which is the product of the inter- 
action between two correlates the one a plastic, adaptable, 
sensitive, biological being, the other simply experience. If we 
agree that mankind is everywhere plastic, adaptable, and sensi- 
tive, then we can only account for the mental and cultural 
differences between the varieties of mankind on the basis of 
different experiences. And this, when everything is taken into 
consideration, seems to be the principal explanation of the 
mental and cultural differences which exist between the varie- 
ties of man. Let me give one or two examples of cultural rela- 
tivity, as it were, in action. 

Five thousand years ago the ancestors of the present highly 
cultured peoples of Europe were savages roaming the wilds of 
Europe. The ancestors of the modern Englishman were living 
in a Stone Age phase of culture, painting their bodies with 
woad and practicing all sorts of primitive rites, being cul- 
turally about equivalent to the Australian aboriginal a state 
in which they continued with little change for more than three 
thousand years, until they were discovered and conquered by 

s For an illuminating exposition of cultural relativity see Benedict, Patterns 
Of Culture. 


the Romans in the first century of our era. 4 Five thousand years 
ago Europe was inhabited by hordes of savages, at a time when 
the kingdoms of Africa and the Babylonian Empire were at 
their height. Babylon has long since passed into history, and 
the kingdoms of Africa have undergone comparatively little 
change; but five thousand years ago and less, the natives of 
these great cultures could have looked upon the Europeans 
as savages equal to beasts and by nature completely incapable 
of civilization and hence better exterminated lest they pol- 
lute the. "blood" of their superiors. Well, whatever sins the 
Europeans have since committed, they have at least shown that 
given sufficient time and experience they were capable of 
civilization to a degree not less than that to which Babylon 
and the kingdoms of Africa attained. 

Here we have an example of cultural relativity. If we use 
time as our framework of reference, we might ask: "Since the 
Africans have had a much longer time than we have had to 
develop culturally, why haven't they developed as far as we 
have done?" Disregarding the dubious notion that any human 
group has enjoyed a longer time in which to develop than any 
other, the answer is that time is not a proper measure to apply 
to the development of culture or cultural events; it is only a 
convenient framework from which to observe their develop- 
ment. Cultural changes which among some peoples it has 
taken centuries to produce, are among other peoples often 
produced within a few years. 5 The rate of cultural change is 
dependent upon many different factors, but the indispensable 
and necessary condition for the production of cultural change 
is the irritability produced by the stimulus of such new ex- 
periences; cultural change is exceedingly slow. Hence, if new 
experience is the chief determinant of cultural change, then 

* Many Romans had an extremely low opinion of the mental capacities of 
the Britons. Thus, Cicero, writing to Atticus, says, "Do not obtain your slaves 
from Britain, because they are so stupid and so utterly incapable of being 
taught that they are not fit to form part of the household of Athens." 

c Sorokin and Merton, "Social Time: a Methodological and Functional 
Analysis," American Journal of Sociology, XLII (1937), 615-29; Sorokin, 
Sociocultural Causality, Space, Time, pp. 158-225. 


the dimension by which we may most efficiently judge cul- 
tures is that of the history of the experience which has fallen 
to the lot of the cultures observed. In other words, to evaluate 
cultural events properly one must judge them by the measure 
of experience viewed through the framework of time. 6 We of 
the Western world have packed more experience into the past 
two thousand years than has probably fallen to the lot of the 
Australian aborigines, as well as other peoples, throughout 
their entire history. 

Experience, or variety of cultural contacts, not time, is the 
all-important factor. It would obviously be wrong to expect an 
Australian aboriginal to behave like an Oxford man, but were 
he given all the cultural advantages of the Oxford man there 
can be very little doubt but that he would do at least as well. 
It has already been pointed out that when Caesar set foot in 
Britain the ancestors of the Englishman were culturally about 
equivalent to the Australian aboriginal. Following the Roman 
conquest the Britons enjoyed the advantage of frequent and 
close contacts with the peoples of Europe, the fructifying in- 
fluence of such contacts being the chief factor responsible for 
raising them from the level of a horde of barbarians. The 
Australian aboriginal, on the other hand, has been almost 
completely isolated upon his continent for countless genera- 
tions without benefit of anything like such contacts with the 
cultures of other peoples. No benevolent Caesar has ever vis- 
ited their shores, yet they have been able to build up a culture 
which is a perfect adaptation to the conditions in which it has 
had to operate. It is not without a moral to reflect that Rome 
did better by its subject peoples than Britain and its colonies 
have ever done by theirs and that had the Romans treated the 
Britons as the Britons have in quite recent times treated stflne 
of their subject peoples, it is doubtful whether by this time 
there would be any Britons left. 7 

Montagu, "Social Time: a Methodological and Functional Analysis," 
American Journal of Sociology, XLIV (1938), 282-84. 
* One may recall the brutal and deliberate extinction of Tasmanian aborigi- 


It should be clear from what has been said above that any 
judgments of value we may attempt to make between our own 
culture, whatever that may be, and that of other peoples will 
be quite invalid unless they are made in terms of experience. 
Bearing this cardinal principle in mind, we shall be able to 
steer a clear course. 

If the essential physical differences between the varieties of 
mankind are limited to superficial characters, such as color of 
skin, form of hair, and form of nose, and the cultural and 
mental differences are due merely to differences in experi- 
ence, then from the socio-biological standpoint all varieties of 
mankind must be adjudged fundamentally equal; that is to 
say, equally good and efficient in a biological sense and in 
cultural potentiality. All normal human beings are born as 
culturally indifferent animals; they become culturally dif- 
ferentiated according to the social group into which they hap- 
pen to be born. Some of the culturally differentiating media 
are neither as complex nor as advanced as others; the individ- 
uals developed within them will be culturally the products of 
their cultural group. As individuals, they can no more be 
blamed or praised for belonging to their particular group 
than a fish can be either blamed or praised for belonging to 
his particular class in the vertebrate series. Culture, the cul- 
ture of any group, is more or less determined by accidental 
factors, which the group, as a group, has usually done little to 
bring about. Members of the more advanced cultures have 
merely been luckier in that they have had broader experience 
and more stimulating contacts than members of the less ad- 
vanced cultures. Boas has said: "The history of mankind 
proves that advances of culture depends upon the opportuni- 
ties presented to a social group to learn from the experience 
of their neighbors. The discoveries of the group spread to 
others and, the more varied the contacts, the greater are the 
opportunities to learn. The tribes of simplest culture are on 

nes, the cruel and ungrateful treatment of Australian aborigines and the peoples 
qf the Uganda and Kenya colony. See Russell, Colour, Race and Empire. 


the whole those that have been isolated for very long periods 
and hence could not profit from the cultural achievements of 
their neighbors/' 8 

In short, the history of mankind teaches us that there is no 
inherent tendency in any group of mankind, which distin- 
guishes it from any other, to develop from a state of "bar- 
barism" to one of "high culture." It is only under certain 
culturally stimulating conditions, which are for the most part 
accidentally determined, that any group will ever advance to 
a state of high culture. In the absence of such conditions no 
human group will ever advance beyond the state of culture 
determined by the totality of the conditions operative upon 
it. That should be obvious. 

It has often been argued that "racial" enmities between 
men will disappear only when all physical "racial" differences 
between them have been obliterated. This is a fallacious argu- 
ment for the simple reason that the real source of "racial" hos- 
tilities is not physical, but cultural. It would be equally er- 
roneous to argue from this that such hostilities will therefore 
disappear only with the obliteration of all cultural differences 
between men. 

The world would be immensely the poorer for such a cul- 
tural leveling, and such a process would not, in any event, 
bring about the desired effect. Perfection of man's nature and 
achievements, it cannot be too often emphasized, is not ob- 
tained by the ascendancy of one form of excellence, but by 
the blending of what is best in many different forms; by har- 
monizing differences, not by rendering them more discordant. 
Stressing superficial differences between people only helps to 
maintain the illusion that there may be more fundamental 
differences behind them. What in truth and in justice re- 
quires to be done is to stress the fundamental kinship of all 
mankind; to stress the likenesses which we all bear to one 
another, and to recognize the essential unity in all mankind 
in the very differences which individuals of all ethnic groups 
display. The world must be reestablished as a vast community 

s Boas, "Racial Purity," Asia, XL (1940), 231-34. 


in which every ethnic group is freely permitted to give as well 
as to receive. Such an ideal will never be achieved by the ig- 
norant and vicious stressing of differences, but by the broader, 
saner, and humaner sympathetic stressing of their funda- 
mental likenesses, and, finally, by the utilization and inter- 
change of those very differences to strengthen each other in 
living a fuller, a more varied, a more interesting, and a more 
peaceful life. 



IT is NOW more than seventy years since that fatal morning 
when a dust-laden Prussian officer cantered into Paris at 
the head of a small advance party of Uhlans, thus signaliz- 
ing the capitulation of the French and the unequivocal vic- 
tory of the Germans in the Franco-Prussian War of 1871. Forty 
years later this self-same Prussian officer, now a general, ca- 
reered into Europe with a book which at once attained uni- 
versal notoriety. This book was entitled Germany and the 
Next War. Few books have before or since been so fervidly 
and widely discussed. In England, at any rate, the book passed 
through more than a score of impressions in as many weeks. 
As a child, then living in London, I well remember the sensa- 
tion it caused and how often I saw it in the most unexpected 
places. Since those days I have learned that the volume used 
to be kept on tap in the precincts of those lesser parliaments, 
the pubs, where men who "talked politics" could freely con- 
sult it over a tumbler of beer and a pipe. In this book the 
author, General Friedrich von Bernhardi, boldly threw down 
the gauntlet to the world and, virtually with saber in hand, 
called upon the German people to protest against the "aspira- 
tions for peace which seem to dominate our age and threaten 
to poison the soul of the German people/' 

It is understandably rather hard for an iron-headed soldier, 
after some forty years of comparative inactivity, to recall an 
event as stirring as the entry at the head of a victorious army 
into a defeated enemy's capital without feeling that if things 
were not actually going to the dogs, at least it was high time 
that something was done to prevent the possibility. And so, 
in order to convince the German people of the "unnatural- 
ness" of that "inactivity which saps the blood from a nation's 
sinews," von Bernhardi did something that he had never done 
before, he wrote and published a popular propagandistic 


book, making the pen, as it were, temporarily do service for 
the sword and ink for blood. "War/* declared von Bernhardi, 
"is a biological necessity"; it "is as necessary as the struggle of 
the elements in Nature"; "it gives a biologically just decision, 
since its decisions rest on the very nature of things." "The 
whole idea of arbitration represents a presumptuous encroach- 
ment on the natural laws of development," for "what is right 
is decided by the arbitrament of War." In proof whereof such 
Darwinian notions as "the struggle for existence," "natural 
selection," and "survival of the fittest" are invoked with a 
loud fanfare of trumpets. According to von Bernhardi, it is 
plainly evident to anyone who makes a study of plant and 
animal life that "war is a universal law of Nature." l 

This declaration and fortification of Germany's will-to-war 
for it had the highest official sanction and approval was 
published in 1912. Two years later the greatest holocaust the 
world had yet known was launched upon its ghastly way by 

. . . vultures sick for battle 
Those bloodless wolves whose dry throats rattle, 
Those crows perched on the murrained cattle, 
Those vipers tangled into one, 

the confused, inhuman militaristic von Bernhardis and the 
other legislators of a victimized Europe. 

The first World War came to an end twenty-seven years 
ago, having cost the lives of thirteen million men; eight mil- 
lion were slaughtered upon the field of battle, and ten mil- 
lion civilians died either directly or indirectly as a result of 
the war. As for the maimed and wounded combatants, these 
amounted to a mere twenty million. The cost of running this 
fracas amounted to $125,000,000 a day during the first three 

i Germany and the Next War, pp. 16-37. Compare with this the following 
passage from the recently published work by a member of the ruling class of 
contemporary England. "War, however much we hate it, is still the supreme 
agent of the evolutionary process. Blind, brutal and destructive, it remains 
the final arbiter, the one test mankind has yet contrived of a nation's fitness 
to survive." Lord Elton, Saint George or the Dragon. 


years and $224,000,000 a day during 1918, the total cost of 
the killing amounting to some four hundred billion dollars. 

This year considerably more than the total income of the 
governments of the world will be spent upon killing. The war 
that has for so many years appeared inevitable is now tragically 
with us, and although most human beings now living, with 
the exception of some militarists, can see neither sense, good, 
nor anything but misery in war, there are many who, like von 
Bernhardi, continue to aver that war has its biological justi- 
fication. Among these is my old friend and teacher Sir Arthur 
Keith, who in several recent articles 2 maintains that the im- 
pulses which lead men to aggressive and defensive wars are 
"nature's mechanisms for preserving the individual and the 
tribe or nation" and "make individuals and nations willing 
to risk life itself to further the means and opportunities of 
life." In all theories of this kind "race" and "race" prejudice 
are conceived by their proponents to play a basic and "nat- 
ural" part. 

Sir Arthur Keith's opinions upon this subject first came 
into prominence with the publication of his Rectorial Ad- 
dress to the students of Aberdeen University in iggi. 3 In the 
present chapter I propose to take Sir Arthur Keith's views 
on the nature of war and its relation to "race" prejudice and, 
treating them as representative of the "race-prejudice- 
biological-nature-of-war" school, subject them to a brief criti- 
cal examination. Keith begins by declaring his firm conviction 
that "prejudices are inborn; are part of the birthright of every 
child." These prejudices "have been grafted in our natures 
for a special purpose an evolutionary purpose." "They are 
essential parts of the evolutionary machinery which Nature 
employed throughout eons of time to secure the separation of 
man into permanent groups and thus to attain production of 

2 Keith, "Must a Rationalist be a Pacifist?" The Truth Seeker, LXVI (1959), 
33-34; "Nationalism," Sunday Express (London), April, 1940, pp. 61-62; a 
series of about twenty articles headed "An Anthropologist in Retirement," in 
The Literary Guide, (London) LVIII (1943) and LIX (1944). For the views 
of the American war-mongers see Hofstadter, Social Darwinism in American 
Thought 1860-1915. 

3 Keith, The Place of Prejudice in Modern Civilization. 


new and improved races of Mankind/' "Nature endowed her 
tribal teams with this spirit of antagonism for her own pur- 
poses. It has come down to us and creeps out from our mod- 
ern life in many shapes, as national rivalries and jealousies and 
as racial hatreds. The modern name for this spirit of antag- 
onism is race-prejudice." "Race-prejudice, I believe," con- 
tinues Keith, "works for the ultimate good of Mankind and 
must be given a recognized place in all our efforts to obtain 
natural justice in the world." Here, sadly, we may recall von 
Bernhardi's "war renders a biologically just decision, since its 
decisions rest on the very nature of things." It is the same argu- 
ment, endlessly repeated, in almost the same words. 

And now for the passage from Keith which has gained such 
widespread notoriety: "Without competition Mankind can 
never progress; the price of progress is competition. Nay, race 
prejudice and, what is the same thing, national antagonism, 
have to be purchased, not with gold, but with life. Nature 
throughout the past has demanded that a people who seeks 
independence as well as peace can obtain these privileges only 
in one way by being prepared to sacrifice their blood to 
secure them. Nature keeps her orchard healthy by pruning; 
war is her pruning hook. We cannot dispense with her serv- 
ices. This harsh and repugnant forecast of man's future is 
wrung from me. The future of my dreams is a warless world." 4 

Essentially similar views were expressed by Sir Arthur Keith 
in his Robert Boyle Lecture Nationality and Race, published 
twelve years earlier, 5 and have been repeated by him as re- 
cently as 1944. Now, unlike von Bernhardi, Sir Arthur Keith 
is a distinguished physical anthropologist and, as his friends 
well know, a man of the noblest and most generous nature, 
who is himself as guiltless of anything resembling "race*' prej- 
udice as a man could well be. Nevertheless, in his treatment 
of the subject of "race" prejudice and war the fact is unfor- 
tunately betrayed that he has overstepped the frontiers of his 
own particular field, a field to which he has made lasting con- 

* Ibid., p. 50. 5 Keith, Nationality and Race. 

Keith, see The Literary Guide for the year 1944. 


tributions. Charles Singer has well said that "even profes- 
sional men of science, when they pass beyond the frontiers of 
their own special studies, usually exhibit no more balanced 
judgment or unprejudiced outlook than do non-scientific men 
of comparable social and educational standing." Sir Arthur 
Keith's views on war and "race" prejudice may be taken as a 
case in point. 

What, we may ask to begin with, is this "Nature," always, it 
is to be observed, spelled with a capital N? Keith's Nature is 
apparently a very intelligent being, working things out pur- 
posefully with much premeditated thought. I use the term 
"intelligent" here in a generic sense to cover the operations 
of what is conventionally understood as the intellect; I make 
no comment on the quality of that supposed intelligence, be- 
yond saying that an intellect which can conceive of no better 
device to improve its breed than by warfare must be a very 
poor intellect indeed. For surely the biological vitality of a 
species can be preserved and improved by many immeasura- 
bly more effective means than this means which do not 
necessitate or require the annihilation of a single individual. 
But what, in fact, is this Nature of von Bernhardi and Keith 
which, according to them, justifies "race" prejudice and ren- 
ders war a biological necessity? 

Apparently it is an anthropomorphism akin to the elan- 
vital of Bergson or the "life-force" of Bernard Shaw. In other 
words, it would appear to be some form of directing Godhead 
with the capital G in very much the old style, divested here 
and there of a few sacraments and perfectly clean shaven, but 
otherwise much the same. Voltaire's jibe that if God had 
made men after his own image they had returned the compli- 
ment is as appropriate a truth today as it ever was. Nature or 
God today is an anthropologist as well as a mathematical physi- 
cist sometimes an entelechist and often enough merely a set 
of differential equations, unlimitedly limited and with an in- 
finite number of functions at one and the same time, but if 
the truth were really known, merely a set of conditioned re- 
flexes in the cosmic movement continuum. In fact, Nature 


may mean anything, according to the whim of the user. Na- 
ture, says Aristotle, makes some men slaves and others free. In 
Nature, says Hobbes, "the life of man is solitary, poor, nasty, 
brutish, and short"; it is a condition of "war of every man 
against every man," in which "the notions of right and wrong, 
justice and injustice have no place" and "force and fraud are 
the two cardinal virtues." "The state all men are naturally in," 
replies Locke, is "a state of perfect freedom to order their ac- 
tions ... as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of 
nature ... a state of equality." "Nature," writes Words- 
worth, "to me was all in all, she never did betray the heart that 
loved her." "Nature," rejoins Tennsyson, "red in tooth and 
claw, shrieks against the creed of man." And as Professor A. F. 
Pollard has remarked of these antinomies, "Some see red, 
others see God, it all depends upon the kingdom that is 
within them." In fact, Nature is the name we give to the pro- 
jection of the totality of our ignorance concerning the forces 
which are conceived to be involved in or responsible for the 
generation of life and its maintenance. Nature is not a "thing- 
in-itself" which operates upon other things; the term denotes 
rather, if it denotes anything at all, an artificial construct 
whose purpose is to serve as a general stereotype for our igno- 
rance, in addition to serving as a deus ex machina to which, in 
a quandary, we may appeal in order to be comfortably relieved 
of our perplexities. For most people to say that a thing is "nat- 
ural" explains it. But does it? What do we mean by "natural"? 
Prejudices are natural according to Keith and others, prose 
according to Monsieur Jourdain, warfare according to von 
Bernhardi, and the golden lie according to Plato and some of 
his modern successors. Nature, it is said, is the universe of 
things as made or produced. Nature, it is further added, op- 
erates according to definite laws. All, in fact, is determined 
by law. The movements of the planets are determined by laws 
as immutable as those which determine the behavior of a dog 
or a man. But all this is mythical. 

The universe, as far as we know, is composed of a system of 
ever-changing relations, in the form, for example, of gases, 


stresses, forces, strains, velocities, dimensions, substances, and 
so forth, truly ad inftnitum. Nothing in it is fixed; all is flux. 
Between certain limits of infinity, that is, in a given space- 
time continuum, the relations of certain planetary velocities, 
for example, may remain (relatively) constant. The recurring 
averages in which these relations manifest themselves may be 
calculated to a high degree of probability, and when so cal- 
culated they may be stated as laws. These laws are always prob- 
ability laws, and are valid only as long as the relations of the 
planetary velocities, as well as numerous other factors, remain 
(relatively) constant. Should any of these relations change, 
the old laws will have to be modified, or entirely new ones will 
have to be elaborated. 

With this in mind we may proceed farther. A unicellular 
organism living at the bottom of a stagnant pool and en- 
vironed by a stable universe of stimuli will tend to undergo 
little change as long as the constancy of these stimuli persists, 
but modify its relations, the form and nature of the stimuli 
acting upon it, alter its environment, and if you go on long 
enough let us say for a few hundred thousand million years 
sufficiently and adequately varying the nature of the en- 
vironmental stimuli, not to mention any possible part played 
by the inherent tendency of the organism to vary, you will, let 
us suppose, produce a man. And your man, as an organism, 
will obviously represent the sum of the effects of the responses 
to the environment organically made by his ancestors. Organ- 
ically your man will be the product of an innumerable variety 
of conditions the changing relations collectively called "he- 
redity" and "environment." So will be, and so indeed is, any 
plant or any other form of animal life. Thus, all plant and 
animal life is not produced according to definite laws, but in 
response to a series of arbitrary or chance alterations in the 
relations of the conditions affecting it. Nature is thus not an 
intelligent teleologically directed process which acts accord- 
ing to predetermined law, but is a composite of chance rela- 
lations which may be arbitrarily observed as unit groups of 
recurring averages of relations, the behavior of the independ- 


ent variables, or the quanta of which are both indeterminable 
and unpredictable, whence the principle of indeterminacy or 
more accurately limited measurability. Man, indeed, owes his 
present supremacy to just such a series of undetermined chance 
relations, which may more briefly be described as an accident, 
the accident referred to having been initiated in the early 
Miocene epoch approximately some fifty million years ago, 
when owing, most probably, to the denudation of the forests, 
due to causes which can at present only be conjectured, a 
group of chimpanzee-gorilla like creatures resembling the 
extinct ape known to palaeontologists as Sivapitliecus siva- 
lensis were forced down from the trees and were constrained 
to assume a life upon the ground. This revolutionary change 
in their environment led ultimately to the development of all 
those physical characteristics which we have learned to recog- 
nize as distinctive of man. Those apes who lived in the unaf- 
fected regions stayed up in the trees, descending to earth only 
when, presumably, their weight became too great; they re- 
main apes. 

Was there any directive, purposeful, intelligent natural 
force at work here? None at all. A devastating series of en- 
vironmental changes accidentally precipitated may have been 
responsible for the descent from the trees, or the cause may 
simply have been the cumulative changes produced by muta- 
tion and all mutation is random. The colossal number of 
varied forms of life, extinct and living, which are to be found 
upon this earth today have arisen because of the operation of 
very similar causes. Every form of life with which we are ac- 
quainted is due, or rather owes its peculiar form, to the in- 
finite number of changes which have been and are in process 
of taking place in the environment peculiar to each the in- 
ternal as well as the external environment. These changes are 
not regulated by law, but by chance. The processes of the uni- 
verse of life are discontinuous and infinitely variable. The 
universe consists of an infinitely changeable and changing 
series of relations. Action and reaction, stimulus and re- 
sponse, take place always relatively, never absolutely. Nature, 


in short, in the determined immutable sense of the tradition- 
alists, does not exist save as a procrustean fiction. 

The law and order that man sees in nature he introduces 
there, a fact of which he seems to have grown quite uncon- 
scious. Natural systems of classification work so well that, fol- 
lowing an unconscious pragmatic principle, they are assumed 
to be true, or at least, representative of the truth, the latter 
being conventionally defined as correspondence with the real- 
ity of whatsoever it may be; in this way the tacit assumption 
is made that one has but to seek and one will find the law and 
order that is undoubtedly in nature. This process is termed 

Now, while systems of classification are of incalculable 
value in aiding the processes of understanding and discovery, 
such systems are nonetheless quite artificial and do not in any 
way reflect a law and order which characterizes the operation 
of the processes we commonly ascribe to nature itself. Nature 
is a fiction which uses neither measuring rod nor timetable. 
It is man alone who uses such instruments in order that he 
may the more fittingly orient himself in relation to this self- 
created fiction. The classificatory systems of man are fictional 
devices and merely represent the attempt and it is a grand 
attempt to unravel the tangled skein of some of the relations 
of the various forms of life and substance to one another, but 
no more. Of this man loses sight, and confuses himself with the 
belief that the law and order which he has worked out into 
an arbitrary scheme is the law and order according to which 
nature "works." Homo additus Naturae, remarked Bacon long 
ago. Nature, if it consists of anything, represents a discon- 
tinuous series of processes, a complex of entangled gossamer 
strands, which man attempts to gather together and spin into 
a web which he naively imagines is the real thing, the "real 
thing*' being merely as he sees it, and he sees it in an infinite 
number of ways, according to the kingdom that is within him. 
Nature comes in this way to mean anything; and what may 
mean anything, in fact means nothing. "Nature'* is a term 
without definite meaning. It is a personification of purely 


imagined purposes. Logically the conception of nature is with- 
out the slightest value; psychologically, perhaps, the term 
may not be without some significance in the sense of Nie- 
tzsche's words in The Joyful Wisdom: "Laws and laws of na- 
ture are the remains of mythological dreaming." 

Julian Huxley has, I think, adequately disposed of the type 
of purposive personification in which Sir Arthur Keith has 
indulged. "The ordinary man," he writes, "or at least the 
ordinary poet, philosopher, and theologian, is always asking 
himself what is the purpose of human life, and is anxious to 
discover some extraneous purpose to which he and humanity 
may conform. Some find such a purpose exhibited directly in 
revealed religion; others think that they can uncover it from 
the facts of nature. One of the commonest methods of this 
form of natural religion is to point to evolution as manifest- 
ing such a purpose. The history of life, it is asserted, mani- 
fests guidance on the part of some external power; and the 
usual deduction is that we can safely trust that same power for 
further guidance in the future. 

"I believe this reasoning to be wholly false. The purpose 
manifested in evolution, whether in adaptation, specializa- 
tion, or biological progress, is only an apparent purpose. It is 
just as much a product of blind forces as is the falling of a 
stone to earth or the ebb and flow of the tides. It is we who 
have read purpose into evolution, as earlier men projected 
will and emotion into inorganic phenomena like storm or 
earthquake. If we wish to work towards a purpose for the 
future of man, we must formulate that purpose ourselves. 
Purposes in life are made, not found/' r 

With respect to the "war of Nature" which is alleged to be a 
"universal law of Nature," that, it must be said, is pure fancy. 
We are told that even trees and flowers "fight." Do they? 
There is not the slightest evidence that they do. And if they 
do, what connection has this "fighting" with the warfare prac- 
ticed by men? Some flowers digest insects; some plants "stran- 
gle" others. Does this constitute war between the flowers and 

i Julian S. Huxley, Evolution; the Modern Synthesis, p. 576. 


the insects concerned? Do the plants that strangle others have 
to plead guilty to murder? Are these "warlike" actions of 
plants and flowers advance or rearguard actions? It would be 
extremely helpful to know whether it is defensive or offensive 
war that is natural. Sir Arthur Keith believes that both are. 
The illegitimate use of such terms as "struggle," "fighting," 
"force," and so forth, when applied to plant and animal life, 
and the deliberate confusion of these terms with "war," occur 
too often and are too often allowed to pass unchallenged. Pro- 
fessor Pollard has entertainingly remarked of this confusion: 
"The sun and the moon, we suppose, declare war with great 
regularity because they get into opposition every month. Par- 
ties in the House of Commons are perpetually at war because 
they are opposed. The police wage war because they are a 
force; for naturally if we use force against a criminal, we must 
needs make war upon other communities. War, indeed, will 
last for ever, because men will never 'cease to struggle/ So the 
League of Nations has obviously failed whenever a stern par- 
ent is caught chastising a peccant child; and 'fighting' will go 
on without end because drowning men will fight for life, 
doctors will fight disease, and women will fight for places at 
drapery sales. And this is war!" 8 The semantic fallacy could 
not be pointed more neatly. 

Man, like other creatures, kills a large number of animals 
for the purposes of food and various other uses. Does the 
process of killing and consuming these animals constitute 
war? In any case, is the killing of these animals either necessary 
or natural? It is neither innate in the psychophysical disposi- 
tion of man nor necessary that he may live, to kill any animal 
whatever, or plant, for that matter, at least not for men living 
in the highly civilized centers of the Western World. Man's 
taste in food is culturally determined, like his taste in ciga- 
rettes or alcohol. In primitive conditions of life he is forced to 
kill animals for food and apparel, just as it was considered 

a Pollard, "The War of Nature and a Peace of Mind/' Vincula, Dec., 1925, 
pp. 60-61. 


"natural" for some nations, not so long ago, to kill prisoners 
of war in order that the food supply might not unnecessarily 
be depleted. Animals in the wild state kill large numbers and 
varieties of other animals, where they are available, for the 
satisfaction of their hunger, for the very good reason that they 
have no other means of remaining alive but man has. Man 
has immeasurably improved upon the wild ways of life of the 
uncultured beasts of the jungle, and there is not the slightest 
reason why he should revert to them. In medieval England it 
was considered natural and perfectly legal for all claims to real 
property to be settled and tried by battle. Since those days 
man has elaborated more peaceful means of settling such 
claims, not by blood, but by reason, because of an understand- 
ing and sympathy made possible by a more enlightened form 
of culture. For culture, if it means anything, represents the 
fact of man's ability to elaborate and improve upon the nor- 
mal processes of the universe, commonly called Nature. It is 
through the agency of culture that man is able to elaborate 
and improve upon his original endowment. It is not so much 
that culture is an extension of him as that he is an extension of 
culture. Indeed today, by means purely cultural, man is in a 
position to control and regulate, in almost every possible re- 
spect, his own future evolution. He holds the power within 
himself of total self-extermination or more complete develop- 
ment, and it will be by the weakness or strength of his human- 
ity alone that either the one or the other effect will eventually 
be brought about. Fundamentally, man is quite an intelligent 
animal, but he is a victim, alas, of the two-handed engine of 
his culture which distorts his mind and renders him unintel- 
ligent. Outworn traditional teachings have made of Western 
man a shockingly unintelligent creature, who lives under the 
continuous and unrelieved domination of a chaos of ideas 
more degrading, more stupid, more idiotic, and more sadden- 
ing than it may ever be possible to describe. This confused 
morality has without question been substantially responsible 
for his present deplorable state, for the reflexes and patterns 


of thought of every child born into the Western World today 
have been conditioned according to the prescriptions of these 
teachings, so that culturally Western man has come to be a 
function almost entirely of the reigning spirit of confusion 
and prejudice. And since in his conduct he functions without 
effort as a victim of confusion and prejudice, he arrives at the 
belief that it is natural to act and to think thus. In this way 
is produced the mentally and spiritually bludgeoned individ- 
ual who gropes his way confusedly through life and whose 
number is legion. The frustrations which he has suffered seek 
an outlet in aggressiveness, and it is in his world alone that 
today force and war still remain a legitimate and defensible 
means of settling a difference. 

With regard to Keith's "race-prejudice," that, of course, is 
a purely acquired sentiment, a constellation of socially manu- 
factured emotions, as Sir Arthur Keith would undoubtedly 
have known had he made as deep a study of cultural as he has 
of physical anthropology. Nature, according to him, secures 
the separation of man into permanent groups by means of the 
operation of "race" prejudices, which express themselves as 
national rivalries and jealousies, in order to produce "new 
and improved races of mankind." This, presumably, is a form 
of natural selection operating from inherited psychological 
bases, a form of selection peculiar to man alone, for no other 
animal, as far as we know, exhibits the slightest symptom of 
anything akin to what Sir Arthur Keith calls "race prejudice." 
So-called "race" prejudices among lower animals, like their 
so-called "natural" fears and terrors, are acquired, not inborn. 
This is probably true of the psychological barriers which exist 
between different groups of birds and in various other ani- 
mals. Experiments on young animals first carried out by Ben- 
jamin Kidd many years ago and by numerous investigators 
since then conclusively prove that the so-called "instinctive" 
fear and terror exhibited in the presence of their allegedly 
natural enemies by the adult members of the species are emo- 
tions which are generally completely absent in the young and 


that they are acquired only by learning from other members of 
the species or by individual experience. 9 A lamb or any other 
animal, for example, which has had no long association with 
members of its own species from whom it could have acquired 
the fear or past experience with lions will exhibit not the 
slightest fear of a lion when confronted with one. On the other 
hand, when chickens raised in complete isolation are first 
brought into association with other chickens they exhibit both 
fear and aggressive reactions. 10 A certain amount of social, of 
cooperative, experience would seem to be necessary if the 
fears nurtured by isolation or any other factors are to be over- 

No animal or human being is born with any prejudice or 
fear whatever, either of snakes, mice, or the dark, to mention a 
few of the most familiar common fears usually considered of 
"instinctive" origin; all these fears, or prejudices, are acquired 
by learning and may, and usually do, act very like condi- 
tioned reflexes, simulating physical reflexes which are innate, 
but which in these cases are conditioned to react culturally, 
not biologically or instinctively. 

Upon the theory that "race" prejudice is innate how are we 
to account for the well-authenticated fact, familiar to most 
people of experience, that children of one nation, brought 
up in the milieu of a "foreign" nation feel no prejudices 
whatever, in wartime or in peacetime, against the nation 
of their adoption, but on the contrary are generally to be 
found in the ranks of their adopted land fighting against the 
motherland of their ancestors, whether it be with ideas or with 
powder. No more impressive demonstration of this is to be 
found anywhere than in the case of the thousands of Japanese 
Americans who in the second World War are bravely fighting 
on all fronts as American citizens and soldiers against the 

e This is not to say that certain general fear and aggressive reactions may not 
have an innate basis, they may and probably do have; but it is to deny that 
such reactions are innately determined for any specific creature or group. 

10 Bruckner, "Untersuchungen zur Tiersoziologie, insbesondere zur Auflos- 
ung der Familie," Zeitschrift fur Psychologic, CXXVIII (1933), 1-110. 


axis forces. Japanese Americans have especially distinguished 
themselves in action against Japanese forces, 11 and many 
of them have received the highest decorations for bravery un- 
der fire. 

A notorious example of transmutation is the case of Hous- 
ton Stewart Chamberlain, the egregious author of that stupen- 
dous miracle of nonsense The Foundations of the Nineteenth 
Century, in which the spectacle is witnessed of an apostate 
Englishman glorifying the Teutonic spirit, the German brand 
of it in particular, at the expense, among others, of his an- 
cestral land and heritage. One may well wonder what hap- 
pened to Chamberlain's "birthright*' of prejudice when as 
an adult he became a champion of German prejudices. Pos- 
sibly William James's law of transitoriness of instinct may be 
invoked here. And what shall we say of the author of the 
Religio Medici, who wrote, "I am of a constitution so general, 
that it consorts and sympathised! with all things; I have no 
antipathy, or rather idosyncrasy, in anything. Those national 
repugnances do not touch me, nor do I behold with prejudice 
the French, Italian, Spanish, or Dutch"? As we have seen in 
an earlier chapter, there is every reason to believe that race 
sentiment and antipathies are comparatively recent develop- 
ments in the societies of Western man. 

In America, where white and black populations frequently 
live side by side, it is an indisputable fact that white children 
do not learn to consider themselves superior to Negro chil- 
dren until they are told that they are so, a fact which is beauti- 
fully illustrated by the words of a white American farmer 
from the South who, in answer to the query as to what he 
thought of the Negro replied, "I ain't got anything against 
niggers; I was fourteen years old before I know'd I was better 
than a nigger." Numerous other examples could be cited of 
the cultural acquisition of prejudices, but we have already 
dealt with the mechanism of "race" prejudice upon an earlier 

11 Full accounts of the activities of Japanese-American members of the 
forces of the United States may be read in the Japanese-American newspaper 
Pacific Citizen, published at Salt Lake City, Utah. 



page, where we have seen that all ideas of "race" prejudice 
are inherited in just the same manner as are our clothes, not 
innately, but culturally. The statement so frequently heard 
that "war is a universal and everlasting law of Nature" is at 
best a shallow judgment, for it seems never to occur to those 
who make it that the conflicts which they are pleased to term 
"war" and which are alleged to take place between animals in 
the wild state are pertinent only in referring to conflicts be- 
tween animals of widely separated species, genera, orders, and, 
almost universally, classes. Thus, mammals prey upon rep- 
tiles, reptiles upon birds, and birds upon insects. Under cer- 
tain conditions lions will attack almost anything that moves; 
so will, to a lesser extent, wolves and hyenas; domestic cats 
will kill small rodents and birds; monkeys will kill and eat 
birds and insects; but in all these examples, selected at ran- 
dom, not a single animal will fight with a member of its own 
species in the sense that it will fight with members of other 
species, orders, or classes of animals. 

In the wild state it is not usual for animals of one species to 
prey upon or to fight with each other, but rather to attack only 
animals of very different species. To this rule there are very 
few exceptions. Of course, very hungry animals will devour, 
upon occasion, members of their own species, but this is a 
form of conduct which is normally resorted to only because of 
extreme necessity. In serious conflicts between wild or domes- 
ticated animals of the same species the fight is rarely between 
more than two individuals, and usually the causes and the 
motives which have provoked the fight are similar to those 
which influence men, namely, the will to possess a sexually 
desirable mate or an object of physical value such as food. 
Gibbons feed contentedly in the same tree with monkeys such 
as macaques and langurs, but will not tolerate the presence of 
another gibbon group of the same species. Practically all verte- 
brates defend their territorial boundaries against invasion by 
members of other groups of their own species. But this sort of 
defensive fighting is very different from war. War is an organ- 
ized attack of one community upon another community, and 


as such is never fought by animals other than those of the 
"human" variety. It is impossible to produce a single instance 
from the animal kingdom, outside of man, to show that within 
a definite species a form of behavior resembling warfare is 
waged by one group of its members upon any other order or 
class of animals as a means of improving the species or what 

If one thing is certain, it is that it is not natural for members 
either of the same species or of any other to wage "war" upon 
one another. 12 As Dr. L. P. Jacks wrote, while the first World 
War was raging, "there is nothing in the life of the lowest 
beasts which can be compared for utter senselessness with the 
mutual rending to pieces of the nations." War, let it be said at 
once, is the most unnatural, the most artificial, of all animal 
activities, for it originates in artificial causes, is waged by 
artificial entities called States, and is fought from artificial 
motives, with artificial weapons, and for artificial ends. Like 
our civilization, war is an artificial product of that civilization 
itself, the civilization that has been achieved by the repeal and 
the repudiation of those very processes of so-called Nature 
which our von Bernhardis are pleased to regard as an ever- 
lasting universal law. 18 

We have already seen that there is good reason to believe 
that aggressive "race" sentiment and prejudice is a compara- 
tively recent acquisition of man. So, too, there is very good 
reason to believe that warfare is but a recent development re- 
sulting from the artificial and perverted activities of men 
living in highly civilized groups. Among the extinct varieties 

12 it is even likely that the ants, who are in any event too far removed from 
man to have any relevance for his behavior, form no exception to this rule. 
See Nfaier and Schneirla, Principles of Animal Psychology, pp. 164 ff., and 
Schneirla, " 'Cruel* Ants and Occam's Razor/' Journal of Comparative Psy- 
chology, XXXIV (1942), 79-83. "One species of animal may destroy another and 
individuals may kill other individuals, but group struggles to the death be- 
tween numbers of the same species, such as occur in human warfare, can 
hardly be found among non-human animals/' Alice, The Social Life of Ani- 
mals, pp. 241-42. 

is For an interesting discussion of "animal warfare," in which the author 
extends the meaning of "warfare" to embrace attacks upon animals of widely 
separated species, see Quincy Wright, 4 Study of War, pp. 42-52, 479-518. 


of men of whom we have any knowledge no evidence of any- 
thing resembling warfare has ever been found. Plenty of 
weapons of a rather simple nature have been discovered in 
association with the remains of ancient man, but they were 
clearly for use against animals, not against himself. Adam 
Smith long ago pointed out that a hunting population is al- 
ways thinly spread over a large area and possesses but little 
accumulated property. Primitive man was, and in many cases 
still is, a hunter, and no doubt, as is the case among most 
existing primitive peoples, his hunting grounds were marked 
off by definite boundaries, boundaries separating different 
communities; "these boundaries were sacred, and as no one 
would think of violating them they could not form a cause of 

"Savages," writes Ellis, "are on the whole not warlike, al- 
though they often try to make out that they are terribly blood- 
thirsty fellows; it is only with difficulty that they work them- 
selves up to fighting pitch and even then all sorts of religious 
beliefs and magical practices restrain warfare and limit its 
effects. Even among the fiercest peoples of East Africa the 
bloodshed is usually small. Speke mentions a war that lasted 
three years; the total losses were three men on each side. In all 
parts of the world there are people who rarely or never fight; 
and if, indeed . . . the old notion that primitive people are 
in chronic warfare of the most ferocious character were really 
correct, humanity could not have survived. Primitive man had 
far more formidable enemies than his own species to fight 
against, and it was in protection against these, and not against 
his fellows, that the beginnings of co-operation and the foun- 
dations of the State were laid." 14 

War came into being only after men had begun to culti- 
vate the land upon which it was necessary for them to settle 
permanently. Such an agricultural stage of development, we 
know, first appeared among men not more than twenty thou- 

14 Ellis, The Philosophy of Conflict, pp. 51-52. Ellis was here summarizing 
the work of Holsti, The Relation of War to the Origin of the State. For a con- 
firmatory view see Quincy Wright's chapter "Primitive Warfare," in A Study 
of War, pp. 53-100. 


sand years ago, in the Magdalenian Age. 15 The agricultural 
life results in the accumulation of property, the accumulation 
of property results in more or less organized industry, industry 
in wealth, wealth in power, power in expansive ambitions, 
and the desire to acquire additional property the source of 
additional power necessary to gratify those ambitions, and 
thus, by no very complicated process, in war. Such conditions, 
which are peculiar to the industrial civilizations of today, are, 
of course, highly artificial, as are the prejudices and the "race" 
sentiment which they serve to generate. 

In the modern world undoubtedly the most potent cause of 
war is economic rivalry, a purely cultural phenomenon having 
no biological basis whatever. The desire for foreign conces- 
sions and markets, an increase in population, desire for 
Lebensraum, such things will upon little provocation set 
nations in opposition and at each other's throats. 16 It is from 
such economic causes that patriotism, chauvinism, and the 
widespread fear of aggression which more than anything else 
serves to consolidate the group and is responsible for the gen- 
eration of "race" sentiment and prejudice, is born. As Mali- 
nowski has put it, "human beings fight not because they are 
biologically impelled but because they are culturally induced, 
by trophies as in head-hunting, by wealth as in looting, by 
revenge as in punitive wars, by propaganda as it occurs under 
modern conditions. 1 ' 17 

If all this is true, then it is apparent that war arises not as the 
result of natural or biological conditions but from purely arti- 
ficial social conditions created by highly "civilized" modes of 

With respect to the "natural antagonisms" with which man 
is alleged to be endowed, it may be said at once that these are 
pure creations of Sir Arthur Keith's imagination, for eer- 
ie Childe, Man Makes Himself. 

i See Bernhardi, Germany and the Next War, for a most illuminating ex- 
emplification of this view. 

if Malinowski, "War Past, Present, and Future," in Clarkson and Cochran 
(editors), War as a Social Institution, pp. 23-24. 


tainly there exists no evidence that man is born with any an- 
tagonisms whatever. The evidence is, on the other hand, quite 
contrary to such a suggestion. Sir Charles Sherrington has set 
out some of this evidence in his masterly book Man on His 
Nature, while Professor W. C. Allee has recently given reasons 
together with some of the evidence, observational, inductive, 
and experimental, which indicate that the spirit of altruism, 
of cooperation, is very much more natural to man than is that 
of egoism or antagonism. "After much consideration," writes 
Professor Allee, "it is my mature conclusion, contrary to Her- 
bert Spencer, that the cooperative forces are biologically the 
more important and vital. The balance between the coopera- 
tive, altruistic tendencies and those which are disoperative 
and egoistic is relatively close. Under many conditions the 
cooperative forces lose. In the long run, however, the group- 
centered, more altruistic drives are slightly stronger. 

"If cooperation had not been the stronger force, the more 
complicated animals, whether arthropods or vertebrates, 
could not have evolved from the simpler ones, and there would 
have been no men to worry each other with their distressing 
and biologically foolish wars. While I know of no laboratory 
experiments that make a direct test of this problem, I have 
come to this conclusion by studying the implications of many 
experiments which bear on both sides of the problem and 
from considering the trends of organic evolution in nature. 
Despite many known appearances to the contrary, human al- 
truistic drives are as firmly based on an animal ancestry as is 
man himself. Our tendencies toward goodness, are as innate 
as our tendencies toward intelligence; we could do well with 
more of both." 18 

Many years ago Prince Kropotkin arrived at similar con- 
clusions, which he set out at length in a very remarkable 
book. 19 More recently Professor William Patten has elabo- 

is Allee, "Where Angels Fear to Tread: a Contribution from General 
Sociology to Human Ethics," Science, XCVII (1943), 521. See also the same 
author's The Social Life of Animal^ 

l? Jtropotkin, Mutiial Aid. 


rated upon the principle of cooperation in an important 
work. 20 Indeed, many distinguished students of the evolution- 
ary process have dealt with the evidence emphasizing the im- 
portant role which the principle of cooperation has played in 
evolution, but their work is only now being rescued from the 
neglect into which it has fallen. 21 

The tendentious habit of thinking of evolution in terms of 
"the struggle for existence/' by means of which, it is believed, 
the "fittest" are alone selected for survival, while the weakest 
are ruthlessly condemned to extinction, is not only an incor- 
rect view of the facts but also a habit of thought which has 
done a considerable amount of harm. Only by omitting any 
reference to such an important evolutionary force as the prin- 
ciple of cooperation and by viewing evolution as a process of 
continuous conflict between all living things can men be led 
to conclude that survival or development depends on success- 
ful aggression. Omitting crucial facts and basing their argu- 
ments on false premises, the muscular Darwinists could only 
arrive at false conclusions. As Alice says, "today, as in Dar- 
win's time, the average biologist apparently still thinks of a 
natural selection which acts primarily on egoistic principles, 
and intelligent fellow thinkers in other disciplines, together 
with the much-cited man-in-the-street, can not be blamed for 
taking the same point of view." 22 

Certainly aggressiveness exists in nature, 28 but there is also 
a healthy non-ruthless competition and very strong drives 
toward social and cooperative behavior. These forces do not 
operate independently, but together, as a whole, and the evi- 

20 Patten, The Grand Strategy of Evolution. 

21 Delage and Goldsmith, The Theories of Evolution; Reinheimer, Evolu- 
tion By Cooperation; Reinheimer, Symbiosis; Wheeler, Social Life among In- 
sects and "Social Evolution," in (Cowdry, editor) Human Biology and Racial 
Welfare; Macfarlane, The Causes and Course of Evolution; Sherrington, Man 
on His Nature; Emerson, "Basic Comparisons of Human and Insect Societies," 
in Biological Symposia, VIII (1942), 163-67; Gerard, "Higher Levels of Integra- 
tion," in Biological Symposia, VIII (1942), 67-87. 

22 Alice, "Where Angels Fear to Tread: a contribution from General Sociology 
to Human Ethics," Science, XCVII (1943), 520. 

23 Collias, "Aggressive Behavior among Vertebrate Animals, Physiological 
Zoology, XVII (1944), 83-123. 


dence strongly indicates that of all these drives the principle 
of cooperation is dominant and biologically the most impor- 
tant. The coexistence of so many different species of animals 
throughout the world is sufficient testimony to the importance 
of that principle. It is probable that man owes more to the de- 
velopment of this principle than to any other in his own bio- 
logical and social evolution. His future lies with its further 
development, not with its abrogation. 24 

Without the principle of cooperation, of sociability and 
mutual aid, the progress of organic life, the improvement of 
the organism, and the strengthening of the species becomes 
utterly incomprehensible. 

There remains to be examined the statement given expres- 
sion by Sir Arthur Keith and implied in the writings of many 
before him that war is nature's "pruning hook," nature's 
method of keeping her orchard healthy. This, of course, is 
supposed to mean that war acts as a process of natural selec- 
tion an idea which on the face of it is preposterously absurd, 
for, as everyone knows, the manner in which modern war 
acts is to kill off the very best members of the group while 
jealously preserving the worst, the mentally and bodily dis- 
eased and the otherwise generally unfit. It must, however, 
be freely acknowledged that on the whole up to the modern 
era the nations victorious in war were generally superior to 
the people whom they conquered superior in the strict 
sense of the military superiority of the combatant individ- 
uals. In former times men actually fought with one an- 
other, the superior warrior generally killing the inferior 
in hand-to-hand combat. But in modern warfare the com- 
batants scarcely ever see each other, and when they do it is not 
military skill or native superiority which decides who shall 
die, but a shell fired from a battery some five to ten miles 
away or a machine-gun hundreds of yards distant, or a bomb 
dropped from an airplane a mile above them. In actual 
battle the superior men are the first to go over the top; in 

24 Leake, "Ethicogenesis," Scientific Monthly, LX (1945), 245-253. 


dangerous and generally useless raids they are the first to be 
chosen and killed. Where, in all this slaughter, is there to 
be detected any evidence of natural selection? Selection, cer- 
tainly, in that the superior are selected for death and the in- 
ferior are protected against it in this way does modern war- 
fare act as an agency of natural selection for the worst. 

Man has reached his present supremacy through the in- 
hibitive and integrative powers of his mind, the ability to re- 
ject and suppress what he considers to be undesirable, the 
ability to control. Human society depends upon the mainte- 
nance of that ability of the mind to control, not so much the 
brute in man for there is really nothing that is brutal in 
him that is not forced upon him but those elements which 
under miseducation are capable of making a brute of him. All 
that is fine, noble, beautiful, and desirable in our civilization 
has been achieved through the resolute determination of indi- 
vidual minds not so much to conquer and to vanquish what is 
customarily called "Nature," red in tooth and claw, but to 
enlist the aid of "Nature" in the service of man and to control 
it effectively. All that is so ugly and inhuman and so destruc- 
tive in our civilization is due to the activities of those who are 
anxious to exploit their fellowmen to their own advantage 
and use measures of control only toward that end. To them 
war is a profitable activity, for it increases their power as well 
as their fortunes. It is individuals of this order, in all coun- 
tries and from the earliest historical times, who make wars, not 
nature. "The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, but in 

Let those who are wise enough awaken to the fact that too 
long have they been deceived by a chaos of ideas for which 
there is not the slightest basis in fact, but which represents, as 
Spinoza said, the errors of the ages grown hoary with the cen- 
turies. Let men realize that the flowers that bloom in the 
verbal spring of such thinkers as von Bernhardi, Sir Arthur 
Keith, and Herr Hitler have nothing whatsoever to do with 
either the logical case or the factual reality. Nay, in spite of 
Jant and others there is no instinct toward peace in man just 


as there is none toward war. The early Egyptians, the Cretans, 
and the people of Mohenjodaro, in India, did not wage war, 
for the good reason that it was totally unnecessary for them 
to do so, since socially and economically they were entirely 
sufficient unto themselves. Aboriginal Australians, however, 
have fought with one another, because for economic reasons 
such as a dog or a wife it seemed necessary for them to do so. 
Men, it seems, fight only when and if they want to; there is 
nothing within their native structure, no primum mobile, no 
innate prejudice, save for such prejudices as have been culti- 
vated in them by education, which forces them to do so. 

The tradition of thought that renders possible such glib 
talk of war and its supposed natural causes as we have here 
surveyed represents the bequest to us from the remote past of 
obsolete modes of thought which are conspicuous for their 
profound irrationality. So powerful is this traditional detritus 
that it has not failed to influence many of the most respected 
minds of our day, to the extent of making "mathemagicians" 
of some of our mathematicians, casuists of some of our philoso- 
phers, and an apologist for war of the gentlest and among the 
most distinguished of our physical anthropologists. This tra- 
dition constitutes a Gordian knot which is so tied that to es- 
cape its bondage one must sever the knot completely since 
it resists being untied. At present this tradition of thought 
constitutes the sole constrictive force operating upon the mind 
of man as well as the main impediment in the way of its ra- 
tional functioning, coercing the good in him toward evil and, 
in short, representing a tyranny of the strongest and subtlest 
power. If man is to be saved from himself before it is too late, 
this tyranny must be broken, and this can only be achieved 
by the unequivocal action that must follow upon the reasoned 
dissolution of the errors of belief and thought that form so 
great a part of our traditional heritage today. 25 

25 For an admirable discussion of "race" relations and war, see Andrews, 
"Racial Influences," in The Causes of War (edited by Arthur Porritt), pp. 63- 



IN HIS inspiring and provocative book Man, Real and Ideal, 
Professor E. G. Conklin writes, "Ashley Montagu would 
discard wholly the word 'race* in the case of man because 
of social prejudices associated with that word and substitute 
for it 'ethnic group' or 'caste/ I wholly sympathize with his 
desire to get rid of race prejudice, but not by denying the 
existence of races or by giving them another name, for 'What's 
in a name?' " x These statements do not correctly represent 
my viewpoint, but it is not with them that I am here con- 
cerned, but with Professor Conklin's question, "What's in a 

What, indeed? I say that names are words and that words 
rule the lives of men; to that extent words are among the most 
important things we have to deal with in the course of our 
lives. I say that the meaning of most, if not all, words is to some 
extent emotionally determined and that man is to a large ex- 
tent, a creature of emotion. It is Freud who said: "Words and 
magic were in the beginning one and the same thing, and 
even to-day words retain much of their magical power. By 
words one of us can give to another the greatest happiness or 
bring about utter despair; by words the teacher imparts his 
knowledge to the student; by words the orator sweeps his audi- 
ence with him and determines its judgments and decisions. 
Words call forth emotions and are universally the means by 
which we influence our fellow creatures." 2 And as Henry 
James remarked, "all life comes back to the question of our 
speech the medium through which we communicate." 

Where words are concerned, there are two classes of men 
those who control their words by thoughts, they are in the mi- 
nority, and those whose words control their thoughts, they are 

i Conklin, Man; Real and Ideal, p. 20. 
* Freud, Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis, p. 13. 


in the great majority. The latter are the "word-supporters," 
the "word sentimentalists," the "racists;" unconscious or de- 
clared; with them, to whom a name, a word, a very little word, 
often means the difference between life and death, we are here 

There are many words in the vocabulary of Western man 
which are characterized by an exaggerated emotional content; 
words distinguished by a high emotional and a low rational, 
or reasonable, quality. "Race" is such a word; "blood" is an- 
other. The word "race" has assumed a high emotional content 
in relatively recent times; "blood," on the other hand, is a 
word which, from the beginning of recorded history, and long 
before that, has possessed a high emotional content. 

That blood is the most immediately important constituent 
of the human body must have been remarked by men at a very 
early period in their cultural development. The weakening 
effect or actual death produced by an appreciable loss of blood 
can hardly have escaped their notice. Hence, the identification 
of blood as a vital principle of life and its endowment with 
special strength-giving qualities must have been almost inevi- 
table steps in the process of endowing this red fluid with mean- 
ing. Among all primitive peoples blood is regarded as a most 
powerful element possessed of the most varied and potent 
qualities. To enumerate these and the functions they are be- 
lieved able to perform would alone fill a volume. 

In the cultural dynamics of Western civilization the con- 
cept of "blood" has played a significant and important role. 
From the earliest times it has been regarded as that most quin- 
tessential element of the body which carries, and through 
which is transmitted, the hereditary qualities of the stock. 
Thus, all persons of the same family stock were regarded as 
of the same "blood." In a community which mostly consisted 
of family lines whose members had, over many generations, 
intermarried with one another, it is easy to understand how, 
with such a concept of "blood," the community or nation 
would come to regard itself as of one "blood," distinct, by 
blood, from all other communities or nations. This, indeed, 


is the popular conception of "blood" which prevails at the 
present time. Thus, for example, if one turns to the Oxford 
dictionary and looks under "blood," the following statement 
is found: "Blood is popularly treated as the typical part of the 
body which children inherit from their parents and ancestors; 
hence that of parents and children, and of the members of a 
family or race, is spoken of as identical, and as being distinct 
from that of other families or races.'* 

As Dobzhansky has put it: "Before the re-discovery of Men- 
del's work the transmission of heredity was thought of in 
terms of inheritance of 'blood.' Parental 'bloods' mix and give 
rise to the 'blood' of the child which is a compromise between 
those of the parents. In a sexually reproducing population the 
available variety of 'bloods' mingle owing to intermarriage. If 
such a population is left undisturbed, the continuous mixing 
process will result in an uniform solution which will repre- 
sent the 'blood' of a race or a variety. When a complete or near 
complete uniformity is reached you will have a 'pure race* 
a group of individuals with identical germ plasms. If two races 
mingle, a mixed race arises; if race miscegenation ceases, a new 
'pure race' will eventually result. 

"It is most unfortunate," Dobzhansky adds, "that the 
theory of 'blood' though invalidated decades ago, still colors 
not merely the thinking of laymen but finds its way, explicitly 
or implicitly, into text books." 3 

It is this conception of "blood" as the carrier of the herita- 
ble qualities of the family, "race," or nation which has led to 
its application in such extended meanings as are implied in 
terms such as "blue-blood," "blood royal," "pure-blood," 
"full-blood," "half-blood," "good blood," "blood tie," or 
"blood relationship," and "consanguinity." Putative "racial" 
and national differences are, of course, recognized in such 
terms as "German blood," "English blood," "Jewish blood," 
and "Negro blood"; so that today the words "race" and 
"blood" have come to be used as synonyms. 

Dobzhansky, "Genetics and Human Affairs/' The Teaching Biologist, XII 


When the meaning of these terms is analyzed, the manner 
in which the general conception of "blood" operates may be 
more clearly perceived. Thus, the term "blue-blood," which 
refers to a presumed special kind of blood supposed to flow in 
the veins of ancient and aristocratic families, actually repre- 
sents a translation from the Spanish sangre azul, the "blue 
blood" attributed to some of the oldest and proudest families 
of Castile, who claimed never to have been contaminated by 
"foreign blood." 4 Many of these families were of fair com- 
plexion, hence in members of these families the veins would, 
in comparison with those of the members of the predominat- 
ingly dark-complexioned population, appear strikingly blue. 
Hence, the difference between an aristocrat and a commoner 
could easily be recognized as a difference in "blood"; one was 
a "blue-blood," and the other was not. 

The expression "blood royal" refers to the generally ac- 
cepted notion that only persons of royal ancestry have the 
"blood of kings" flowing in their veins. No person, however 
noble his ancestry may be, can be of the "blood royal" unless 
he has the blood of kingly ancestors in his veins. Thus, kings 
are held to belong to a special class of mankind principally in 
virtue of the supposed unique characters of their blood. In 
order to keep the "blood" of the royal house pure, marriages 
are arranged exclusively between those who are of "the royal 
blood." In England, for example, no member of the royal 
family who stands in direct line of succession to the throne 
may marry anyone but a member of another royal house. The 
most recent example of the consequence of disobeying this 
rule is, of course, the case of the present Duke of Windsor, 
who was forced to abdicate his succession to the throne of Eng- 
land because of his declared intention to marry a person who 
was not of "royal blood." 

In common parlance and in the loose usage of many who 
should know better, terms like "full-blood" or "pure-blood," 

*The blood in the veins is, of course, dark red in color, while the veins 
themselves are white. The blue appearance of the veins through the skin is due 
to the refractive properties of the tissues through which they are seen. 


and "half-blood" very clearly illustrate the supposed heredi- 
tary character of the blood and the manner in which, by sim- 
ple arithmetical division, it may be diluted. Thus, "full- 
blood" and "pure-blood" are expressions which are alleged 
to define the supposed fact that a person is of unadulterated 
blood, that is, he is a person whose ancestors have undergone 
no admixture of "blood" with members of another "race." 
Within the last century these terms have come to be applied 
almost exclusively to persons who are not of the white race, 
to persons, in short, who are supposed to belong to the alleg- 
edly inferior rungs of the "racial" ladder. It is possible that 
this restricted usage has been determined by the fact that these 
expressions have generally done most service in the descrip- 
tion of native peoples or of slaves, as in "full-blooded Negro," 
"pure-blood Indian," or merely "full-blood," or "pure-blood." 
Such a lowly association would be sufficient to secure the non- 
application of the term to any member of the self-styled su- 
perior "races." 

A "half-blood," in contradistinction to a "full-blood," or 
"pure-blood," is half of one "race" and half of another for 
example, the offspring of an Indian and a white. What is ac- 
tually implied is that while a full-blood or pure-blood may 
claim relationship through both parents, a half-blood may 
claim relationship through one parent only. For example, a 
mulatto, that is, the offspring of a white and a Negro, is for all 
practical purposes classed with the group to which the Negro 
parent belongs, and his white ancestry is, for the same pur- 
poses, ignored. In practice, it often works out that the half- 
blood is not fully accepted by either of the parental groups, 
because of his "adulterated blood," and he becomes in the 
true sense of the expression "half-caste," belonging to neither 
caste; for in Western society the so-called different "races" are 
in reality treated as if they were different castes. 

A person is said to be of "good" or "gentle" blood if he is 
of "noble" birth or of "good" family. Here the assumed bio- 
logical determinance of social status by blood is clearly ex- 
hibited, that is to say, a person's rank in society is assumed to 


be determined by his "blood/' when, in fact, it is in reality 
the other way around, that is to say, "blood" is actually deter- 
mined by rank. The ancestors of all noblemen were once com- 
mon people, plebeians. It was not a sudden metamorphosis in 
the composition of their blood which caused them to become 
noble; it was rather an elevation in social status, which en- 
dowed them with supposedly superior qualities, which are 
not biological in any sense whatever and belong purely to the 
ascriptive variety of things. That is to say, they have no real, 
but a purely imagined, existence. 

The statement that a person is of "bad blood, " in the sense 
that he is of common or inferior character or status, is rarely 
encountered, for the reason, presumably, that those who use 
such terms have not considered the "blood" of such persons 
worth mentioning at all. Thus, for example, while there is an 
entry in the Oxford dictionary for "blood worth mention,'* 
there is none for blood not worth mention. In the sense in 
which "blood" is considered as the seat of emotion, "bad 
blood" is taken to be the physiological equivalent of ill-feel- 
ing. In this sense, of course, "bad blood" may be created be- 
tween persons of "good blood." 

The term "blood-relationship" and its anglicized Latin 
equivalent "consanguinity," meaning the condition of being 
of the same "blood," or relationship, by descent from a com- 
mon ancestor, enshrines the belief that all biological relation- 
ships are reflected in and are to a large extent determined by 
the character of the blood. This venerable error, along with 
others, requires correction. 

This brief analysis of the variety of ways in which "blood" 
is used and understood in the English language and in West- 
ern civilization in general renders it sufficiently clear that 
most people believe that blood is equivalent to heredity and 
that blood, therefore, is that part of the organism which de- 
termines the quality of the person. By extension, it is also gen- 
erally believed that the social as well as the biological status 
of the person is determined by the kind of blood he has in- 
herited. These beliefs concerning blood are probably among 


the oldest beliefs surviving from the earliest days of mankind. 
Certainly they are found to be almost universally distributed 
among the peoples of the earth in very much the same forms, 
and their antiquity is sufficiently attested by the fact that in 
the graves of prehistoric men red pigments are frequently 
found in association with the remains. These pigments were, 
probably, used to represent the blood as the symbol of life and 
humanity, a belief enshrined in the expression "he is flesh and 
blood/' to signify humanity as opposed to deity or disem- 
bodied spirit. There in the grave was the flesh, and the pig- 
ment was introduced to represent the blood. 

As an example of a myth grown hoary with the ages for 
which there is not the slightest justification in scientific fact, 
the popular conception of blood is outstanding. Were it not 
for the fact that it is a bad myth, harmful in its effects and 
dangerous in its possible consequences, it might well be al- 
lowed to persist; but since great harm has already been done 
and will continue to be done unless this myth is exposed for 
what it is one of the most grievous errors of thought ever 
perpetrated by mankind it is today more than ever necessary 
to set out the facts about blood as science has come to know 

In the first place, let it be stated at once that blood is in no 
way connected with the transmission of hereditary characters. 
The transmitters of hereditary characters are the genes which 
lie in the chromosomes of the germ cells represented by the 
spermatozoa of the father and the ova of the mother, and noth- 
ing else. These genes, carried in the chromosomes of a single 
spermatozoon and a single ovum, are the only parts of the or- 
ganism which transmit and determine the hereditary char- 
acters. Blood has nothing whatever to do with heredity, either 
biologically, sociologically, or in any other manner whatso- 

As Dobzhansky says: "Germ plasms are not miscible 
'bloods/ They are sums of discrete genes which, if unlike but 
present in the same individual, do not mix but segregate ac- 
cording to the rules established by Mendel. In sexually repro- 


ducing organisms, an individual inherits only one-half, not 
all of the genes each parent possesses; and it transmits to its 
children one-half of its genes. Every sex cell produced by an 
individual is likely to contain a somewhat different comple- 
ment of genes from every other sex-cell of the same individual. 
Brothers and sisters have different hereditary endowments. 
The variety of genes present in populations of many sexually 
reproducing species, including man, is so great, and the num- 
ber of combinations which they are capable of producing is 
so colossal, that it is unlikely that any two individuals (identi- 
cal twins excepted) ever have exactly the same germ plasms." B 
The belief that the blood of the pregnant mother is trans- 
mitted to the child in the womb, and hence becomes a part of 
the child, is ancient, but completely erroneous. Scientific 
knowledge of the processes of pregnancy have long ago made 
it perfectly clear that there is no actual passage of blood from 
mother to child. The developing child manufactures its own 
blood, and the character of its various blood cells, both mor- 
phologically and physiologically, is demonstrably different 
from that of either of its parents. The mother does not contrib- 
ute blood to the fetus nor the fetus to the mother. 6 This fact 
should forever dispose of the ancient notion, which is so char- 
acteristically found among primitive peoples, that the blood of 
the mother is continuous with that of the child. The same be- 
lief is to be found in the works of Aristotle on generation. 7 
Aristotle held that the monthly periods, which fail to appear 
during pregnancy, contribute to the formation of the child's 
body. Modern scientific investigation demonstrates that this 
and similar notions are quite false and thus completely dis- 

5 Dobzhansky, "Genetics and Human Affairs," The Teaching Biologist, XII 
(1943), 102. 

6 "The placenta does not normally permit transfer of the mother's red 
blood cells into the embryonic blood vessels, nor of those of the embryo into 
the mother, even though these red blood cells are only .007 millimeter (.0003 
inch) in diameter. It will moreover not even pass substances which are com- 
pletely soluble, in the usual sense, in the blood plasma if their molecules are 
of very large size; to be specific, the proteins of large molecular structure do 
not enter the embryo as such." Corner, Ourselves Unborn, p. 51. 

7 Aristotle, De generatione animalium i. 20. 


poses of the idea of a blood-tie between any two persons, 
whether they be mother or child or even identical twins. 
Hence, any claims to kinship based on the tie of blood can 
have no scientific foundation of any kind. Nor can claims of 
group consciousness based on blood be anything but fictitious, 
since the character of the blood of all human beings is deter- 
mined, not by their membership in any group or nation, but 
by the fact that they are human beings. 

The blood of all human beings is in every respect the same, 
with only one exception, that is, in the agglutinating proper- 
ties of the blood which yields the four blood groups. But these 
agglutinating properties and the four blood groups are pres- 
ent in all varieties of men, and in various groups of men they 
differ only in their statistical distribution. This distribution 
is not a matter of quality, but of quantity. There are no known 
or demonstrable differences in the character of the blood of 
different peoples. In that sense the Biblical obiter dictum 
that the Lord "hath made of one blood all nations of men to 
dwell on the face of the earth" 8 is literally true. 

Scientists have for many years attempted to discover 
whether or not any differences exist in the blood of different 
peoples, but the results of such investigations have always 
been the same no difference has been discovered. In short, 
it cannot "be too emphatically or too often repeated that in 
every respect the blood of all human beings is identical, no 
matter to what class, group, nation, or ethnic group they be- 
long. Obviously, then, since all people are of one blood, such 
differences as may exist between them can have absolutely no 
connection with blood. 

Such facts, however, do not in the least deter Nazi propa- 
gandists from continuing to use the blood myth to set people 
against one another. The prevailing official Nazi view of the 
matter was presented to the Congress of the Nazi party at Nu- 
remberg exactly six years before the invasion of Poland by the 
official Nazi distorter of the truth, who for some mysterious 
reason is called a "philosopher" Alfred Rosenberg. 

Acts 17: 26. 


"A nation," he said, "is constituted by the predominance 
of a definite character formed by its blood, also by language, 
geographical environment, and the sense of a united political 
destiny. These last constituents are not, however, definitive; 
the decisive element in a nation is its blood. In the first awak- 
ening of a people, great poets and heroes disclose themselves 
to us as the incorporation of the eternal values of a particular 
blood soul. I believe that this recognition of the profound sig- 
nificance of blood is now mysteriously encircling our planet, 
irresistibly gripping one nation after another/ 1 9 

The concept of "race" which equates the inheritance of the 
individual or of the group with the transmission of hereditary 
characters or qualities through the blood dates from a period 
when the nature of heredity was not understood and the exist- 
ence of such things as genes was unknown. During that period, 
the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the race concept was 
developed. It has been seen that this concept is false and mis- 
leading, producing absurdities of thought, and conduct which 
is atrocious. 

The extravagant and utterly preposterous claims which the 
Nazis have made on the basis of the blood myth are only 
equaled by the superstitions which prevail among others in 
the same connection. These were recently given much pub- 
licity when the Red Cross segregated the blood of Negroes for 
the purposes of transfusion. In other words, the myth of 
"blood" seems almost as strongly entrenched in this country 
as it is among the Nazis. It will be generally agreed that this 
is an undesirable and dangerous situation and that the sooner 
the facts concerning blood are made known the better. 

The astonishing thing about the objection to Negro blood 
is not so much that it is based upon a misconception, but that 
the same person who refuses to accept Negro blood may be 
perfectly willing to have his children suckled by a Negro wet 
nurse. The same person will be ready to submit to an injec- 
tion of serum derived from a horse or a cow or some other 
animal, and while he himself may have been suckled by a Ne- 

o Vossische Zeitung, 3 September 1933. 


gro wet nurse and may even entertain the greatest affection for 
Negroes, he will violently object to any "pollution" of his 
blood by the injection of Negro blood into his own blood 

Quite clearly this is a false belief, a superstition for which 
there is no ground in fact, but plenty in traditional belief. In 
actual fact the blood of the Negro is identical with that of all 
other human beings, so that for purposes of transfusion, or 
any other purposes, it is as good as any other blood. 10 

The objection to Negro blood is, of course, based upon the 
antique misconception that the blood is the carrier of heredi- 
tary characters, 11 and since the Negro is regarded as possessing 
"racially" inferior characters, it is feared that these may be 
transmitted to the recipient of the transfusion. Both prejudices 
are groundless. 

But observe how real unreal names and words may become 
if only they are believed to be real. If I say that certain persons 
belong to certain "globglubs" and that their "zebzebs" differ 
from my zebzebs because I belong to a different globglub, I 
may be talking utter nonsense; but if I believe that what I am 
saying is actually meaningful and true, it may be nonsense to 
others, but it is very fact to me. When, however, most people 
believe in the existence of globglubs and call them "races" 
and in zebzebs, which they call "blood," these words become 
the meaningful counters of my life, the means by which I 
handle "reality." But what we take for reality is often only 
appearance, hence, we must be on our guard against words 
which pass for capsules of reality, but are, in fact, nothing but 
imaginative inventions bags into which we have breathed 
our own hot air. 

10 For an excellent analysis and discussion of the character of the blood in 
the varieties of mankind see Lewis, The Biology of the Negro, pp. 82 ft". 

11 It was the ancient belief that the seed comes from all parts of the body 
and is carried in or is merely a specialized portion of the blood. For a clear 
expression of this view, which has persisted down to modern times, see Hip- 
pocrates Airs Waters Places xiii. 14. Such views, it may here be mentioned 
in passing, formed the basis for the erroneous belief in the inheritance of 
acquired characters, for if the blood gathered the seed from every part of 
the body, any modification of the body would be reflected in the seed, and 
hence would be transmitted to the offspring. 


What modern science has revealed about blood, then, ren- 
ders all such words as "blood royal," "half-blood," "full- 
blood," "blood-relationship," and the others to which refer- 
ence has been made utterly meaningless in point of fact and 
dangerously meaningful in the superstitious social sense. 

Is it too much to expect that this false belief, the myth of 
blood, will soon make way for the scientifically established 
universal truth that all human beings, no matter of what creed 
or complexion they may be, are of one and the same blood? 



AONG THE MANY MYTHS concerning "race," those which 
relate to the physical characters of the American Negro 
are of especial interest. These myths illustrate rather 
clearly the manner in which any trait may be seized upon and 
transmuted into an "inferior character" by the simple device 
of merely asserting it to be so. 

The chief visible characters which are popularly held to 
distinguish the Negro from the white are the color of his skin 
and the form of his hair. These characters represent the im- 
mediately "visible" differences. Other characteristics in which 
Negroes are popularly held to differ from whites are in form 
of nose, length of arms and hands, "body odor/' size of geni- 
talia, size of brain, vocal cords, and so forth. 

Before we proceed to examine his physical characters it 
should be stated that the American Negro must be regarded 
as one of the newest varieties of mankind. He represents the 
end-effect of a considerable amount of mixture between dif- 
ferent African varieties, American Indians, and whites of 
every description principally whites of British origin. Out 
of this mixture has emerged the unique type or ethnic group 
in the making represented by the American Negro. The type 
is even yet not fully consolidated, but is still in process of for- 
mation. All the evidence indicates that while at the present 
time the American Negro occupies, so far as his physical char- 
acters are concerned, a position intermediate between the 
African Negro on the one hand and whites and a relatively 
small proportion of American Indians on the other, he will, if 
the social barriers against intermarriage and "miscegenation" 
are maintained, tend to stabilize around a type which is rather 
more Negroid than otherwise. Even so, his physical structure 
will continue to be characterized by many elements bearing 


the indubitable marks of his white, and to a much lesser extent, 
American Indian ancestry. 1 

The results of investigations thus far carried out make the 
following summary of the physical characters of the typical 
American Negro possible. 2 It is to be understood that the find- 
ings on the characters here cited have been repeatedly sub- 
stantiated and confirmed by different investigators working 
independently of one another. The characters described here 
are to be read as conditions in the American Negro as com- 
pared with Old American whites, 3 or mixed Europeans. 


Head slightly longer and nar- Prognathism (projection of 
rower upper jaw) greater 

Head height less Lips thicker 

Cranial capacity less External ear shorter 

Hair line lower on forehead Torso shorter 

Interpupillary distance Arm longer 

greater Chest shallower 

Nose height less Pelvis narrower and smaller 

Bridge of nose lower Leg longer 

Nose broader Weight greater 

Stature shorter 


Skin contains greater amount of black pigment 
Hair, wavy, curly, frizzly, or woolly 

1 See Herskovits, The American Negro; Cobb, "The Physical Constitution o 
the American Negro," /. Negro Education, III (1934), 340-88; Cobb, "Physi- 
cal Anthropology of the American Negro," Amer. /. Phys. Anthrop., XXIX 
(1942), 113-223. 

2 This summary is based on the work of Davenport and Love, Army An- 
thropology, 1921; Todd and Lindala, "Dimensions of the Body, Whites and 
American Negroes of Both Sexes," Amer. J. Phys. Anthrop. , XII (1928), 35- 
119; Davenport and Steggerda, Race Crossing in Jamaica; Herskovits, The An- 
thropometry of the American Negro; Cameron, and Smith, "The Physical 
Form of Mississippi Negroes," Amer. J. Phys. Anthrop., XVI (1931), 193-201; 
Day, Negro-White Families in the United States f 1932. 

s The comparisons are made with the Old American series of Hrdliclca be- 
cause these represent the type of the ancestral white stock of the American 
Negro. See Hrdlicka, The Old Americans. 


Distribution of hair less profuse 
Sweat glands in greater number 4 

A large number of characters have been omitted from this 
summary for several reasons; some because Negroes and 
whites do not differ in that respect, others because informa- 
tion is lacking, and still others because for them the available 
evidence is so unsatisfactory that it requires separate discus- 
sion. We may now briefly consider the significance of the sum- 
marized differences. 


In general the head of the American Negro is about 2 mm. 
longer and about i mm. narrower than the head of the white. 
In accordance with this form the Negro head is somewhat 
lower, about 5 mm. This difference in the height of the head 
is probably significantly associated with the very slightly 
smaller brain of the Negro. The mean cubic capacity of the 
Negro brain as compared with that of the white, as deter- 
mined by Wingate Todd, was 1350.25 c.c. for 87 Negro males, 
and 1,391.08 for white males. 5 The difference, in the males, 
is here a matter of 41 c.c. in favor of the whites. Cranial capac- 
ity and brain weight are characters which are very variable, 
and there are very few observations into which the personal 
factor enters so much as in the determination of these charac- 
ters. But when all is said and done, Todd's difference of 41 c.c. 
is probably as reliable and as accurate an estimate on small 
samples of American Negroes and whites of similar social 
status as it is possible to obtain. Now, in discussing head size 
and brain size it is necessary to bear in mind that the Ameri- 
can Negro is some 2 mm. shorter in total stature than the 

* Homma, "On Apocrine Sweat Glands in White and Negro Men and 
Women," Johns Hopkins Hospital Bulletin, XXXVIII (1926), 367-71; Glaser, 
"Sweat Glands in the Negro and the European/' Amer. J. Phys. Anthrop. 

xviii (1934), 371-76. 

Todd, "Cranial Capacity and Linear Dimensions/* Amer. J, Phys. Anthrop., 

vi (1923). 97-194- 


white; while this difference cannot account for the whole of 
the difference in brain size of the Negro, it probably does ac- 
count for part of that difference. 

It is obvious that as far as the diameters of the head are con- 
cerned the Negro head tends to be long as compared to the 
tendency toward reduction in length and a compensatory in- 
crease in breadth and height in the white. Reliable evidence 
is lacking on the relative thickness of the bones of the Negro 
skull, but if there is any real difference, it must be exceedingly 
slight, and would make, except in very aged individuals, very 
little difference in the cranial capacity. In short, the size of 
the Negro head is very slightly smaller than that of the white, 
and different in shape, being long rather than broad. A differ- 
ence of some 40 c.c. in cranial capacity suggests a very slightly 
smaller brain volume in the Negro as compared with the 
white. Actually, a difference of 40 c.c. is so small, falling well 
within the normal range of variation of white brains, that it 
can hardly be regarded as significant from any but a purely 
statistical point of view. But since a difference in brain size has 
formed one of the chief subjects of general discussions con- 
cerning differences between Negroes and whites, it is neces- 
sary to discuss this matter somewhat more in detail here. 

As illustrating the kind of pseudo-scientific and popular be- 
liefs which are generally held in these connections a few exam- 
ples may be quoted. The following quotation is taken from a 
work typical of the anti-Negro literature, and is by R. W. 
Shufeldt, M.D., "Major, Medical Department, United States 
Army (Retired)." 

'In the skull of the negro the cranial capacity and the brain 
itself is much undersized. On the average, the former will hold 
thirty-five fluid ounces, as against forty-five for the Caucasian 
skull. In the negro the cranial bones are dense and unusually 
thick, converting his head into a veritable battering-ram. 
Moreover, the cranial sutures unite very early in life. This 
checks the development of the brain long before that takes 
place in other races, and this fact accounts to some extent for 


the more or less sudden stunting of the Ethiopian intellect 
shortly after arriving at puberty." 6 

Another example, this time from the work of a clergyman 
interested in race relations, may be given on the same theme: 

"The older schools of anthropologists agreed among them- 
selves in assigning to the Negro branch of humanity a smaller 
and a less highly developed brain than is exhibited by other 
races. By charts, and otherwise, some of them sought to show 
the areas of the Negro brain not yet developed to the standard 
of the Caucasian. The logical results of the findings of these 
men, with their prodigious industry and patience, are dis- 
tinctly discouraging to the Negro. Accepting their findings, 
there is provided an unanswerable argument against the 
degradation of the white group through the absorption of the 
Negro group." 7 

For each of the statements made by these two writers a cer- 
tain amount of support could be found in the writings of the 
"older anthropologists." There are also several contemporary 
"anthropologists" who would lend many of these statements 
their support. To what lengths certain writers can go in these 
matters, may be illustrated by the case of Professor Lidio Cip- 
riani, of the National Museum and the University of Flor- 
ence, Italy. During the progress of the Italian campaign in 
Ethiopia Professor Cipriani published a book for the purpose 
of justifying that campaign, and here we have Professor Cip- 
riani's own summary of Chapter V of this remarkable work: 

"Researches conducted on the brain of the African and on 
its physiological and psychological functions reveal the exist- 
ence of a mental inferiority which it is impossible to modify 
and which excludes the possibility of its development in our 
own manner. The Africans are particularly unadapted to as- 
similate European civilization. Since this depends upon the 
characters of the race, which are transmissible, then, with 

6 Shufeldt, The Negro a Menace to American Civilization, p. 35. This book, 
which is dedicated to the great palaeontologist Edward Drinker Cope, is, per- 
haps, one of the most virulent attacks under a pseudo-scientific guise upon 
the American Negro ever to have been published. 

T Shannon, The Negro in Washington, p. 320. 


crossing, it is necessary to develop certain eugenical norms, 
above all for Europeans living in contact with the Africans. 
In this connection the important observations which have 
been made on the Negroes imported into America since the 
seventeenth century have the greatest value." 8 

The subjective determination and evaluation of the evi- 
dence is apparent here. One of the classical examples of un- 
conscious bias in this field is represented by Professor R. Ben- 
nett Bean's study of the Negro brain. In this study 9 Bean 
described certain alleged racial differences in the Negro brain, 
such as its relatively small size, the reduction in the volume of 
the frontal and temporal lobes, and the anterior part of the 
corpus callosum the great association tract connecting the 
two hemispheres of the brain. 

Professor F. P. Mall, in whose laboratory at Johns Hopkins 
University this research was conducted, was so dissatisfied 
with Bean's interpretation of the evidence that he was led to 
investigate the problem for himself. It should be stated here 
that Mall was the outstanding American anatomist of his time 
and that he was responsible for training a large majority of 
America's most notable anatomists. Utilizing the racial cri- 
teria of Bean and others, Mall and his colleagues were quite 
unable to distinguish Negro from white brains, and after 
pointing out the technical, instrumental, and personal errors, 
and contradictory results involved in Bean's work, he con- 
cluded: "In this study of several anatomical characters said 
to vary according to race and sex, the evidence advanced has 
been tested and found wanting. It is found, however, that por- 
tions of the brain vary greatly in different brains and that a 
very large number of records must be observed before the 
norm will be found. For the present the crudeness of our 
method will not permit us to determine anatomical characters 
due to race, sex or genius and which if they exist, are com- 
pletely masked by the large number of marked individual 

8 Cipriani, Un assurdo etnico: L'Impero Etiopico, p. 177. 
Bean, "Some Racial Peculiarities of the Negro Brain," Amer. J. Anatomy, 
V (1906), 953-4*5- 



variations. The study has been still further complicated by 
the personal equation of the investigator. Arguments for dif- 
ference due to race, sex and genius will henceforward need to 
be based upon new data, really scientifically treated and not 
on the older statements." 10 

Similar criticisms of Bean's work were made by Wilder, 11 
but up to the present time a rigorously controlled scientific 
study of the Negro brain, as compared with that of the white, 
has not appeared. 

Poynter and Keegan noted that the Negro brain generally 
displays "a prominent parietal lobe in contrast to the 'ill 
filled' frontal region." 12 But quite clearly this so-called char- 
acteristic merely represents an accommodation of the shape 
of the Negro head, which, it will be recalled, is longer, nar- 
rower, and lower than the head of the white. Poynter and Kee- 
gan wisely recognize that since their findings demonstrate that 
the Negro brain displays characters which fall within the lim- 
its of variation of the white brain "it is not possible to estab- 
lish a single morphological feature which can be claimed as 
absolutely characteristic." Similarly, Fischer concluded that 
"the convolutions and the furrows or sulci between them vary 
so much from individual to individual that no racial distinc- 
tions can be ascertained." 18 

Levin, of the Bechterew Institute for Brain Research at 
Leningrad, has recently shown, in a discussion of the whole 
problem, that the available evidence affords no ground what- 
soever for any belief in racial or "inferiority signs" in human 
brains, whether they be of great men or of "savages." 14 

Actually, if the Negro brain is somewhat smaller than that 
of the white, the difference will be found to be so small that 

10 Mall, "On Several Anatomical Characters of the Human Brain, Said to 
Vary According to Race and Sex," Amer. /. Anatomy, IX (1909), 1-32. 

11 Wilder, The Brain of the American Negro. 

12 Poynter and Keegan, "A Study of the American Negro," /. Comparative 
Neurology, XXV (1915), 183-202. 

is Fischer, "Variable Characters in Human Beings," in Baur, Fischer, and 
Lenz, Human Heredity, pp. 114-66. 

i* Levin, "Racial and 'Inferiority* Characters in the Human Brain," Amer. /. 
Phys. Anthrop., XXII (1937), 345-80. 


it can hardly be considered in any way significant for the men- 
tal functioning of the Negro as compared with that of the 
white. Within the limits of normal variation, differences in 
brain size have about as much relation to intelligence and cul- 
tural achievement as differences in body size, and as far as the 
available evidence goes, that is none. The Negro Kaffirs and 
Amaxosa of Africa, the Japanese, the American Indians, the 
Eskimos, and the Polynesians all have brains which are larger 
than those of the average whites. On the same grounds as the 
white proclaims himself superior to the Negro, he should pro- 
claim these peoples superior to himself thus far, however, 
there is no evidence that he is likely to do so. The fact is that 
the external morphology of the human brain, or the charac- 
ters of size and weight, have little or nothing to do with its 
functional capacities; these, on the other hand, must be con- 
sidered as due to a complex of characters, such as the geneti- 
cally determined internal (microscopic) structure of the cells 
and neurones and the organization to which these are sub- 
jected by experience, the abundance of the blood vessels, the 
character of their walls, and the efficiency of the drainage. 15 

Upon these matters we have no evidence adequate enough 
for a definitive judgment beyond the statement that at the pres- 
ent time there exists no evidence in support of the popular 
belief that significant differences exist between the brain of 
the Negro and that of the white. 

With respect to the commonly repeated statement that the 
cranial sutures in the Negro unite earlier than in other races, 
"and thus cause a stunting of the Ethiopian intellect shortly 
after arriving at puberty," it can now quite definitely be 
stated, as a result of the fundamental studies of Todd and 
Lyon on suture closure in Negroes and whites, that no signifi- 
cant differences in the character of suture closure exists be- 
tween the two groups. The authors conclude their studies 
with the statement "We repeat that there is one modal type of 

is Donaldson, "The Significance of Brain Weight," Arch. Neurology and 
Psychiatry, XIII (1925), 385-86; Bonin, "On the Size of Man's Brain as Indicated 
by Skull Capacity," /. Comparative Neurology, LIX (1934), 1-28; Klineberg, 
Race Differences, pp. 77-92. 


human suture closure upon outer and inner faces of the cra- 
nium, common to White and Negro stocks." 16 

As far as the growth and development of the skull is con- 
cerned, there are no significant differences between Negroes 
and whites. There do, however, exist differences in the pat- 
tern and rate of growth in certain bones of the skull, and these 
differences are already apparent during fetal development; 
as Schultz has said, "these differences are essentially the same 
as those which distinguish adult Whites from adult Ne- 
groes." 17 

Thus, Limson l8 found that in Negro fetuses the occiput 
was more prominent and convex and the external occipital 
protuberance more strongly formed than in white fetuses. 
Limson also found that the dental arch projects farther for- 
ward and that the anterior nasal spine is smaller in Negro 
than in white fetuses. These are precisely the regions of dif- 
ferential growth which Todd and his coworkers 19 have shown 
to distinguish the adult Negro cranium, namely, greater ex- 
pansion of the occipital bone at the back of the head and 
greater forward growth of the upper jaw and dental arch. This 
difference in the detailed growth pattern of the jaw has been 
shown to hold good in Negro fetuses in respect of the premax- 
illary bone, which tends to lose its independence later than in 
the white; This fact is significantly correlated, of course, with 
the somewhat greater projection of the upper jaw in the Ne- 
gro than in the white. 20 This projection of the upper jaw is 
not a true prognathism similar to that which occurs in the 
anthropoid apes, for in the latter the early arrest in the growth 

ie Todd and Lyon, "Cranial Suture Closure; Its Progress and Age Relation- 
ship. Part IV. Ectocranial Closure in Adult Males of Negro Stock," Amer. J. 
Phys. Anthrop., VIII (1925), 149-68. Part l-III of these studies occur in pre- 
ceding numbers of the same journal. 

IT Schultz, "Fetal Growth in Man," Amer. J. Phys. Anthrop., VI (1923), 389- 

is Limson, "Observations on the Bones of the Skull in White and Negro 
Fetuses and Infants," Contributions to Embryology, No. 136, 1932, pp. 204-22. 

19 Todd, "The Skeleton," in Growth and Development of the Child, Part II 
(White House Conference on Child Health and Protection), pp. 107-9. 

20 Montagu, "The Premaxilla in the Primates," Quarterly Review of Biology, 
X (1935), 182-84. 


of the brain case and the continued growth of the jaws and 
dental arches is a syndrome which does not occur in any form 
of man. The projection of the upper jaw in the Negro is accen- 
tuated as compared to the conditions in the white because in 
the latter there is an earlier arrest of growth in the upper jaw 
than in the Negro. This greater growth of the maxilla in the 
Negro is also responsible for another apparent, though unreal, 
difference in the appearance of the head. This is the appar- 
ently greater projection of the white cranium beyond the face 
this appearance does not reflect any real difference in the 
character of the cranium, but rather constitutes the reflection 
of the lesser projection of the jaws in the white in whom the 
jaws have tended, as it were, to shrink under the top of the 
head rather more than in the Negro. From every point of view 
the reduction in the size of the upper jaw in whites must be 
considered unfortunate, for the resulting restriction in space 
is responsible for a very large number of disorders, such as fail- 
ure of development of teeth, the noneruption, crowding, or 
rotation of teeth, deflection of the nasal septum, cleft palate 
and harelip, and so forth. 21 The retention of the ability for 
continued growth by the Negro maxilla as compared with the 
loss of this ability in whites would here, indubitably, confer 
an advantage upon the Negro. 

With respect to the shape of the nose in the Negro, this is 
very variable, but it stabilizes around a rather shorter, flatter, 
and broader nose than that of the average white. It has been 
very cogently suggested that the broad nose and larger nasal 
passages of the African Negro are adapted to meet the require- 
ments of air breathed at relatively high temperatures, whereas 
the relatively long narrow nose of the white is adapted to the 
breathing of air at relatively low temperatures. A statistical 
investigation of this problem supports this suggestion with a 
high degree of probability. 22 

21 For a discussion of these matters see Montagu, "The Premaxilla in Man," 
J. Amer. Dent. Assoc., XXIII (1936), 2043-57, and "The Significance of the 
Variability of the Upper Lateral Incisor Teeth in Man," Human Biology, 
XII (1940), 323-58. 

22 Thomson and Buxton, "Man's Nasal Index in Relation to Certain Cli* 
matic Conditions/' /. Royal Anthrop. Institute, LIII (1923), 92-122. 


Statements to the effect that the Negro nose is more primi- 
tive than that of the white are meaningless. For example, Dr. 
Victor Heiser has recently stated that the fact that the Philip- 
pine Negritoes "were true Negroes was shown by the one piece 
cartilage in their spreading noses; all other races have a split 
cartilage. Even the octoroons show this negroid test of Negro 
blood." 28 This statement was repeated and elaborated in 
November, 1936, in Collier's Weekly. 

Dr. Montague Cobb has thoroughly disposed of this error 
by showing that no split cartilage occurs in any monkey, ape, 
or man and that there are no significant characters of the nasal 
cartilages, except those of size, which distinguish the Ameri- 
can Negro from the white nose. 24 

Actually, the Negro nose merely exhibits a difference in 
form, and there is every reason to believe that the original 
form of the African Negro nose persisted in Africa as an adap- 
tively valuable character and that in the American Negro the 
form of the nose, while still very variable, presents a form in- 
termediate between white, American Indian, and African 
Negro. The greater the admixture of white ancestry, the more 
Caucasian does the form of the nose appear. Even so, there is 
a marked tendency toward persistence of the broad nose. This, 
among other characters, has been termed an "entrenched Ne- 
gro character"; 25 that is to say, a character which shows rela- 
tively great stability under hybridization. Other such features 
are lip thickness, mouth width, interpupillary distance, and 
ear height. As for the apparently larger eye of the Negro, this 
is an illusion resulting from the comparatively less angular 
orbit of the Negro. On the other hand, Mrs. Day's very careful 
observations 26 very clearly show that two of Todd's most 
dominantly entrenched Negro characters, namely, lip thick- 
ness and breadth of nose, very readily undergo change toward 

28 Heiser, An American Doctor's Odyssey, p. 146. 

2* Cobb, "Your Nose Won't Tell," Crisis, LXV (1938), 332-36. 

25 Todd, "Entrenched Negro Physical Features," Human Biology, I (1930), 


26 Bay, A Study of Some Negro-White Families in the United States, pp. 



the type of the white lip and nose under hybridization. It 
would seem, however, that an appreciable amount of admix- 
ture must usually occur before these two characters actually 
assume the "ideal" white form. 

The slope of the forehead in Negroes is not significantly 
different from that in whites, and we have already seen that 
this apparent "difference" is an illusion due to the greater 
"prognathism" of the Negro. 

A still more significant contribution to the alleged low- 
foreheadedness of the Negro is the fact that the level at which 
the hair grows on his head is lower upon the forehead than it 
is in the white. Under hybridization this low level of the hair 
line appears to be one of the first characters to yield as a 
glance through Mrs. Day's photographs of Negro-white indi- 
viduals will at once show. 

In African Negroes the chin is not as prominent as it is in 
whites, but in American Negroes the chin prominence is in- 
termediate between the conditions in Africans and those in 
whites, as may be seen from Mrs. Day's figures, 27 which both 
Hooton and the present writer believe to show an exaggerat- 
edly high proportion of lack of chin protrusion, 38.9 percent 
in females and 50.5 percent in males. It is clear, however, that 
chin protrusion increases with increase in the proportion of 
white ancestry. 

In view of the fact that statements are frequently made 
which refer to the alleged ape-like "hands" of the Negro and 
his long arms or long legs, as those who make such statements 
see fit, we may well briefly consider these matters here. 

The Negro torso is about an inch and a quarter shorter 
than that of the white, the Negro leg a little less than an 
inch and a quarter shorter. 28 The Negro arm is about an 
inch longer, the upper arm being relatively shorter and the 
forearm relatively longer than in the white. As for breadth 
and length of hands, Todd and Lindala found no significant 

27 Ibid., p. 100. 

28 Davenport and Love, Army Anthropology; Todd and Lindala, "Dimen- 
sions of the Body, Whites and American Negroes of Both Sexes," Amer. J, Phys 
Anthrop., XII (1928), 35-119. 


differences in these dimensions, a fact which led these investi- 
gators to remark, "it is rather astonishing to find that the 'long 
narrow hand' of the Negro vanishes on the average." 29 It was 
considered by these authors that this finding could not be im- 
puted to the admixture oi white ancestry, since their series 
gave many evidences of relative purity of strain. Herskovits 
also failed to find any significant difference in the width of 
the Negro hand. 30 While the Negro hand as a whole is not 
longer than the hand of the whites, the fingers are, on the 
whole, longer, for Herskovits found that the middle finger is 
longer in Negroes than in whites. 81 This would then make 
that portion of the hand in the Negro which extends from the 
wrist to the base of the fingers shorter than in the white, but 
this supposition requires confirmation. With respect to the 
length of the thumb there exist some observations on the 
skeletal thumb in 9 African Negroes and 15 whites which in- 
dicate that the African Negro thumb is about 1.7 mm. shorter 
in relation to the length of the middle finger than the relative 
thumb length of the average Englishman. 82 These findings 
corroborate in a rather striking manner the earlier findings 
of Schultz, who found the length of the thumb in relation to 
the middle finger in 18 adult Negroes to be 1.8 mm. less than 
in 14 adult whites. 88 In relation to the length of the hand, 
Schultz found that in both Negro fetuses and Negro adults 
the thumb was relatively shorter than in whites. 84 

Hence, as far as the upper extremity is concerned it would 
appear that every part of it is perfectly proportionate to the 
other, and that the greater length of the Negro arm is actually 
due to a compensatory adjustment in relation to the shorter 
torso. As for "ape-like* 1 characters of Negro hands or arms, 

29 Ibid., p. 73. 

80 Herskovits, The Anthropometry of the American Negro, pp. 67-68. 

si Ibid., p. 68. 

82 Montagu, "On the Primate Thumb," Amer. J. Phys. Anthrop. f XV (1931), 

83 Schultz, "The Skeleton of the Trunk and Limbs of Higher Primates," Hu- 
man Biology, II (1930), 381-83. 

8* Schultz, "Fetal Growth of Man and Other Primates," Quarterly Review 
of Biology, I (1926), 493-95. 


they are entirely wanting, both in the proportions and in the 
deeper structures. 

The lower limb of the Negro is about 2 inches longer than 
in the white, and unlike the case of the arm, there is no differ- 
ence in the proportions of the length of the thigh or lower leg. 
"The long shin of the Negro is an illusion of its circumfer- 
ence, as his long foot is an illusion of its flatness." 8B The 
length and breadth of the Negro foot show no significant dif- 
ferences from those features of the foot of whites and are en- 
tirely proportional to leg length. 86 

Recent attempts to show that Negro athletes enjoy an un- 
fair advantage owing to their alleged possession of a longer 
heel bone and longer calf muscles, have been critically exam- 
ined by Professor W. M. Cobb, who has made a careful study 
of this matter and has shown that many of the outstanding 
Negro athletes have legs and feet which are predominantly 
white in character and that Negroid physical characters are 
not in any way significantly associated with Negro athletic 
ability. 87 In this connection it may be noted that Malafa, in 
an investigation of the bodily characters of sprinters and non- 
athletes, carried out on 100 white students from the grammar 
schools of Brno, Czecho-Slovakia, found that long legs were 
one of the principal characters which distinguished the ath- 
letes from the nonathletes. 38 This character constitutes, of 
course, a selective factor and is not correlated with race or 
racial characters. One more fact concerning the Negro foot. 
The alleged longer heel bone is nonexistent, but both in fe- 
tuses and adults is "caused entirely by a thick layer of subcu- 
taneous fat." 89 

so Todd, "Entrenched Negro Physical Features," Human Biology, I (1929), 

se Todd and Lindala, "Dimensions of the Body," American Journal of Phys- 
ical Anthropology, XII (1928), "4-75. 

ST Cobb, "Race and Runners," /. of Health and Physical Education, VII 
(1936). 1-8. 

as Malafa, On the Bodily Differences between Sprinters and Non-Sportsmen, 
pp. 1-11. 

89Schultz, 'Fetal Growth of Man and Other Primates," Quarterly Review 
of Biology, I (1926), 499. 


It is frequently stated that the Negro pelvis differs from that 
of the white in being longer and narrower. This statement is 
not quite true. The Negro pelvis is smaller in all its dimen- 
sions. Todd and Lindala write "The male Negro pelvis is 
small in all its dimensions compared with the male White and 
its true pelvic component is long compared with the height of 
the iliac crest over perineum or over tuber ischii. Superposed 
on a common bodily size the female White pelvis is relatively 
some 10 mm. longer and broader than the male though its 
absolute dimensions are less. The female Negro pelvis is 
relatively only 6 mm. longer than the male but 2 1 mm. 
broader." 40 

It is greatly to be doubted whether there is any truth in the 
common belief that because the Negro female has a narrower 
pelvis than the white female she is more likely to experience 
a less satisfactory termination to a pregnancy produced by a 
white male than to one by a Negro male, the suggestion here 
being that the rounder headed white is likely to produce a 
fetus which will have a larger and a rounder head than can be 
adequately delivered through a small narrow pelvis "in- 
tended" for the delivery of Negro-fathered children. 

Caldwell and Moloy have, from the obstetrical point of 
view, investigated the anthropometric characters of the pelvis 
of Negro and white females. 41 These investigators find that 
female pelves may be classified into three types: (a) the gyne- 
coid, or average female type, which occurs in 42 percent of 
Negro females and in the same percentage of white females; 
(b) the android type, more closely approximating the male 
form than the female pelvis, which occurs in 15.7 percent of 
Negro females and 32.5 percent of white females; and (c) the 
anthropoid type with a long antero-posterior diameter and a 
relatively narrow transverse diameter, occurring in 40.5 per- 
cent of Negroes and in slightly less than half that percentage 
of whites. 

40 "Dimensions of the Body," American Journal of Physical Anthropology f 
XII (1928), 97-98. 

41 Caldwell and Moloy, "Anatomical Variations in the Female Pelvis and 
Their Effects in Labor, with a Suggested Classification," Amer. /. Obstetrics 
and Gynecology, XXVI (1933), 479-514. 


Obstetrically, the most dangerous form of the pelvis is the 
android type, which occurs among whites with double the 
frequency that it occurs among Negroes. The other two types 
of pelvis present no especial obstetrical difficulties. It there- 
fore seems improbable that the form of the Negro pelvis plays 
any more significant role in difficult labor and delivery than 
in the case of white females. 

Davenport and Steggerda "entertained the hypothesis that, 
in the case of the Black woman who carried a mulatto child 
in utero, her narrow pelvic outlet and the child's large head 
might offer an important disharmony." 42 In order to test this 
hypothesis they proceeded to examine the heads of newborn 
colored and white children. They found that the heads of 
newborn colored infants were slightly smaller at birth than 
those of white newborn infants, and it is quite evident from 
their findings that no disharmonies between pelvic outlet and 
shape of the head occurred in the Jamaica series examined by 
these authors. Data on the pelves were not available to Daven- 
port and Steggerda, but the data which have since appeared 
render the suggestion of a significant disharmony of the kind 
hypothecated highly improbable. 

Skin color is a very complex character and depends upon a 
multiplicity of factors for its expression. As is well known, 
every gradation from black to white occurs among American 
Negroes. The greater the admixture of white ancestry, the 
more white, as a rule, does the skin appear. Barnes has shown 
"that the percentage of Negro pigmentation of the American 
Negro increases quite rapidly until puberty, with a maximum 
at the age of 15; decreases rapidly until about the age of 35; 
and then decreases very slowly the remainder of life." 48 This 
finding is in essential agreement with the independent find- 
ings of Davenport, and of Todd and van Gorder. 44 

The inheritance of skin color is a cumulative process in- 

42 Davenport and Steggerda, Race Crossing in Jamaica, pp. 423-24. 

48 Barnes, "The Inheritance of Pigmentation in the Skin of the American 
Negro," Human Biology, I (1929), 321-28. 

4 * Davenport, Heredity of Skin Color in Negro White Crosses; Todd and 
van Gorder, "The Quantitative Determination of Black Pigmentation in the 
Skin of the American Negro," Amer. J. of Phys. Anthrop., IV (1921), 239-60. 


volving the operation of multiple factors, the individual hav- 
ing the largest number of factors usually showing the charac- 
ter developed to the highest degree. In Negro-white crosses 
the genes for black pigment are not completely dominant over 
those for lighter color; the first generation is mulatto or in- 
termediate in shade. The offspring of mulattoes, however, 
exhibit great variability of skin color, grading from black to 
white; and it is apparent that in the second generation varia- 
bility is higher than in the first. This is an effect of multiple- 
factor inheritance, for owing to the large number of factors 
now present, they are segregated in combinations which are 
more distributively variable than those in the original ances- 
tors. This form of blending inheritance is essentially Men- 
delian. The evidence thus far suggests that there are at least 
two pairs of genes conditioning skin color, yielding 9 geno- 
types and 5 phenotypes assuming that the gene pairs have 
approximately the same effect. In reality a far wider range of 
phenotypes is observed, which suggests the existence of other 
modifying genes affecting skin color. Further investigations 
of a most refined and laborious nature remain to be carried 
out before the mechanism of the inheritance of skin color is 
fully understood. 

Black children cannot be born to parents one of whom is 
"pure" white. When a colored infant is born to white parents 
it is proof that both the genitors carry Negro genes. Similarly, 
a Negress with some white genes cannot bear a white child to 
a pure Negro. 

Black is the dominant hair color among Negroes, although 
red, dark brown, light brown, and gray-brown hair occurs ir- 
regularly; the lighter hair colors are more common among 
those with half or more white ancestry. The black color of the 
hair is one of the most dominantly entrenched Negro features. 
On the other hand, hair form is, interestingly enough, one of 
the most easily modifiable of characters. While among Ameri- 
can Negroes every form of hair from woolly to straight is to 
be found, it is clear that under hybridization hair form yields 
most readily to the influence of new genes. This fact was strik- 


ingly brought out in the classic study of Fischer 45 on the 
hybrids of Hottentot-Dutch ancestry in South Africa one 
group with dominantly woolly hair, the other with domi- 
nantly straight hair. Fischer found that among the Rehobo- 
ther Bastaards woolly hair occurred in 29 percent, frizzly or 
wavy hair in 49 percent, and straight in 22 percent. 

Davenport and Steggerda found that among Jamaicans 
woolly hair occurred in 100 percent of blacks, in 86.7 percent 
of browns, and in i percent of whites. Curly hair occurred in 
none of the blacks, in 11.4 percent of browns, and in 30 per- 
cent of whites. Wavy hair did not occur in blacks, but was 
found in 2 percent of browns and in 30 percent of whites; 
39.2 percent of the whites had straight hair. 

In Mrs. Day's series of Negro-white families, it is very clear 
that hair form varies with degree of admixture. Hooton, sum- 
marizing Mrs. Day's findings, writes: "As far as our data carry 
us we may conclude that % N males, % N females, and even 
% N females may exhibit the entire range of hair curvatures 
generally recognized, but that, if Mrs. Day's information is 
valid, distinctively Negroid forms of hair, such as frizzly and 
woolly, do not appear unless there is at least % of Negro blood 
in the individual." 46 

The inheritance of hair form in Negro-white crosses has 
been studied by Davenport, 47 who found that straight hair is 
a recessive condition. 48 Wavy or curly hair is a heterogeneous 
condition, so that wavy plus wavy yields offspring which is 
straight, wavy, and curly in the proportion 1:2:1. Curly plus 
curly yields mostly curly; yet 14 percent of the offspring show 
straight hair, so that it is apparent that some curly-haired 
parents carry the gene for straight hair as a recessive. 

Straight plus wavy and straight plus curly produce a good 

45 Fischer, Die Rehobother Bastards und das Bastardierungsproblem beim 

40 E. A. Hooton in Day, A Study of Some Negro- White Families in the United 
States, p. 85, 

47 Davenport, "Heredity of Hair Form in Man," Amer. Naturalist, XLII 
(1908), 341. 

48 Six types of hair form are distinguished here: straight, low waves, deep 
waves, curly, frizzly, and woolly. 


many curly-haired offspring. Post, analyzing Mrs. Day's data, 

"Of the total number of 428 offspring, seventy-five have 
curlier hair than the more curly parent, while only forty-three 
have straighter hair than the straighter parent. This is all 
negative evidence for a general dominance of the curlier con- 
dition. . . . 

"The six forms merge into each other. . . . There is no 
evidence for the emergence of a New American Negro type, 
in regard to hair form, such as Herskovits has lately described 
for skeletal proportions." 49 

It may, of course, be argued that the intermediate types of 
hair form, as well as hair color, exhibited by American Negroes, 
do constitute at least an approach to a new type, for the genetic 
behavior of hair form is, in the character of its blending, not 
unlike that of skin color and quite clearly shows many grada- 
tions of form, intermediate between the hair forms exhibited 
by African Negro and white ancestors. Thus, it would seem 
that Herskovits's general finding concerning the emergence of 
a new American Negro type holds good also for the character 
of the hair form. 

It is a common belief that the Negro is more glabrous (i.e., 
destitute of hair smoother) than whites. This belief is well- 
founded for although it is still uncertain whether the Negro 
possesses fewer hair follicles, it is quite clear that the develop- 
ment of his body hair, both in thickness and in distribution, is 
considerably less than in the white. Danforth's investigations 
lead him to believe that in the Negro there has occurred a 
reduction in the number of hair follicles and that there is 
also a deficiency in the growth of individual hairs. 50 This 
would appear to be the most plausible explanation of the 
relative glabrousness of the American Negro, In an investi- 
gation of the facial hair of Negroes and whites Trotter found 
that there was no difference in the actual number of hairs, but 

. H. Post in Day, A Study of Some Negro-White Families in the United 
States, p. 13. 

BO Danforth, "Distribution of Hair on the Digits in Man," Amer. J. Phys. 
Anthrop., 3V (1921), 189-204. 


that the average thickness of the facial hairs of the Negroes 
was less than that of the whites; also, the hairs of Negro 
women were somewhat shorter than those of white women. 51 

In the Negro, as compared with the white, the general 
tendency toward reduction in the amount of hair and the 
character of its distribution has proceeded farther, as is evi- 
denced by the reduction in the number of hair follicles on the 
fingers, toes, 52 arms, and hands of Negroes. 58 

In the American Negro, as is to be expected, every form of 
hair distribution and development may be observed; the 
greater the amount of white admixture, the greater the dis- 
tribution and thickness of hair. These facts are well brought 
out in Mrs. Day's observations on Negro-white families. From 
these observations it would appear that facial hair reaches a 
medium degree of thickness in individuals with % and less of 
white ancestry. 54 It is highly probable that the genetic mech- 
anisms here operative are much the same for hair distribution 
and thickness as for skin color and hair form, with the 
presence of multiple factors and the consequent segregation 
of intermediate forms. 

On the whole, one may say that the American Negro shows 
a distribution of body hair and an intensity of hair growth 
intermediate between the condition in the African Negro 
and the American white. 

One of the most popularly entrenched beliefs concerning 
the Negro is that he possesses a unique and particularly ob- 
jectionable body odor. During Dollard's investigations in 
" South erntown" he encountered this belief, and his references 
to it are worth reproducing here. 

"Among beliefs which profess to show that Negro and white 
people cannot intimately participate in the same civilization 
is the perennial one that Negroes have a smell extremely dis- 
ci Trotter, "A Study of Facial Hair in White and Negro Races," Washington 
University Studies (Scientific Studies), IX (1922), 273-89. 

62Danforth, "Distribution of Hair on the Digits in Man/' Amer. /. Phys. 
Anthrop., IV (1921), 189-204. 

53 Davenport and Steggerda, Race Crossing in Jamaica, pp. 264-67. 

5* Day, A Study of Some Negro-White Families in the United States, p. 86. 


agreeable to white people. This belief is very widely held both 
in the South and in the North. A local white informant said 
that Negroes smell, even the cleanest of them. It might not 
be worse than other human smells, but it was certainly differ- 
ent. It was asserted to be as true of middle-class Negroes as of 
others, at least upon occasion. Another informant swore that 
Negroes have such a strong odor that sometimes white people 
can hardly stand it. He described it as a 'rusty' smell. This odor 
was said to be present even though they bathe, but to be 
somewhat worse in summer. Another white informant de- 
scribed the smell as 'acrid/ " Dollard states that he can de- 
tect no difference between the odor of Negroes and that of 
whites. 55 

Shufeldt remarks that the body odor of the Negro is "some- 
times so strong that I have known ladies of our own race 
brought almost to the stage of emesis when compelled to in- 
hale it for any length of time." efl To this it may, of course, be 
replied, that many whites have been almost equally nauseated 
by the odor of their fellow whites. Members of other ethnic 
groups find the body odor of whites most objectionable. Thus, 
the great Japanese anatomist Buntaro Adachi wrote that when 
he first settled in Europe he found the body odor of Europeans 
very objectionable strong, rancid, sometimes sweetish, some- 
times bitter. As time drew on he became accustomed to it, 
and still later found it sexually stimulating. 57 Similar expe- 
riences will be found recounted elsewhere. 58 Body odor de- 
pends upon a very large number of factors. Human sweat is 
of complex structure and is a compound of the secretion of the 
sebaceous glands and the sweat glands proper. Among the 
known constituents of sweat are water, sodium chloride, 
phosphates of the alkaline earth, urea, creatinine, aromatic 
oxides, ethereal sulphates of phenol and skatoxyl, neutral fat, 
fatty acids, cholesterol, albumin, and iron. Depending upon 
the amount of these substances present at any one time, the 

56 Dollard, Caste and Class in a Southern Town, pp. 378-79. 

* 6 Shufeldt, The Negro a Menace to American Civilization, p. 33. 

* Adachi, "Der Geruch der Europaer," Globus, LXXXIII (1903), 14-15. 

**See Klineberg, Race Differences, pp. 128-31. 


odor of the sweat will vary in the same individual from time 
to time and under different environmental and dietary con- 
ditions. Upon this subject there have been no really adequate 
studies. All that we at present know is that body odor varies 
from individual to individual within the same ethnic group 
and that members of different ethnic groups, and even classes, 
find the odor of members of other ethnic groups and classes 
distinctly different and frequently objectionable. Klineberg 
refers to "an experimental attempt to throw a little further 
light on this question ... in an unpublished study by 
Lawrence, who collected in test tubes a little of the perspira- 
tion of White and Colored students who had just been ex- 
ercising violently in the gymnasium. These test tubes were 
then given to a number of White subjects with instructions 
to rank them in order of pleasantness. The results showed no 
consistent preference for the White samples; the test tube 
considered the most pleasant and the one considered the 
most unpleasant were both taken from Whites." 59 Klineberg 
concludes: "There may be racial differences in body odors, 
but it is important first to rule out the factors referred to 
above, particularly the factor of diet, before a final conclusion 
is reached. It is obvious that cleanliness is also a factor of im- 
portance. In any case, the phenomenon of adaptation enters 
to remove any special unpleasantness arising from the presence 
of a strange group." 60 

Since evidence upon the reactions of unprejudiced whites 
are not as abundant as they might be; the present writer may 
record the fact that in his own experience of African and 
American Negroes he has never observed any particular or 
general difference in body odor between Negroes and whites. 
Furthermore, in his own household there have at various 
times been employed some twelve Negro maids; all of them 
had plenty of occasion to perspire freely, and all of them 
served at table. In only one case out of twelve was any odor 
of perspiration ever perceived by any member of our house- 
hold. In this case the individual concerned was excessively 

**lbid., p. 131. 


fat. After the matter of her body odor was discreetly broached, 
it was never again perceived. 

Comparative studies of the physiology and chemistry of 
Negroes and whites do not exist, but there do exist several 
studies of the sweat glands in Negroes and whites from the 
anatomical standpoint. To these we may now refer. 

Clark and Lhamon, in a study of the sweat glands of the 
hands and feet of Negroes, found that these were more abun- 
dantly supplied with exocrine glands than were those of 
whites. 61 

Glaser, in an investigation of the sweat glands in one Bantu 
Negro and in one European, found that "the regional dis- 
tribution of the sweat glands in the Negro agrees closely with 
that usually given for the European. ... In the great ma- 
jority of regions compared, however, the Bantu has more 
sweat glands than the European, and this is probably of 
considerable value to him in resisting extremes of heat." 62 

Homma, in a study of the apocrine glands of 10 Negroes and 
12 whites, found that such glands occurred three times more 
abundantly in the Negroes than in the whites and that while 
such glands never occurred in the breasts of whites, they were 
sometimes to be found in the breasts of the Negroes. 63 

Thus, it is evident that if Negroes possess a greater number 
of sweat glands than whites, heat regulation under high 
temperatures would be more efficiently performed in them 
than in whites, and it is also possible that if there is any dif- 
ference in the odor of their sweat, it is probably not a differ- 
ence in kind, but in degree or intensity, due to the cumulative 
action of the number of glands involved. 

As in the majority of characters in American Negroes, their 
sweat glands are probably intermediate in number between 
those of African Negroes and those in whites. 

i Clark and Lhamon, "Observations on the Sweat Glands of Tropical and 
Northern Races," Anatomical Record, XII (1917), 139-47- 

2 Glaser, "Sweat Glands in the Negro and the European," Amer. J. Phys. 
Anthrop., XVIII (1934), 371-76. 

es Homma, "On Apocrine Sweat Glands in White and Negro Men and 
Women," Johns Hopkins Hospital Bulletin, XXXVIII (1926), 367-71. 


It is a common belief that the penis of the Negro is appre- 
ciably larger than that of the white. The view is an old one. 
Blumenbach (1752-1840), the founder of the science of 
physical anthropology, referred to this matter as long ago as 
1775. He states: "This assertion is so far borne out by the 
remarkable genitory apparatus of an Aethiopian which I 
have in my anatomical collection. Whether this prerogative 
be constant and peculiar to the nation I do not know." 64 

Upon this subject there exists no scientific evidence what- 
soever. It is important to note here, however, that no traveler 
in the last few hundred years or any anthropologist who has 
worked in Africa has ever remarked upon any difference in the 
size of the genitalia in Negroes as compared with whites. In 
any event, the statements of untrained observers would not 
be of much value. In recent years, however, one brilliant young 
traveler and anthropologist, who has made observations in 
West Africa, has stated that the Negro genitals are not dis- 
proportionately larger than those of the white. 65 

Bollard commenting upon his inquiries into the sexual 
mores of "Southerntown" writes: "There is a widespread belief 
that the genitalia of Negro males are larger than those of 
whites; this was repeatedly stated by white informants. One 
planter, for example, said he had had visual opportunity to con- 
firm the fact; he had gone to one of his cabins, and on entering 
without warning, found a Negro man preparing for inter- 
course. Informant expressed surprise at the size of the penis 
and gave an indication by his arm and clenched fist of its great 
length and diameter. It was further said that this impression 
was confirmed at the time of the draft examination of Negroes 
at the Southerntown Courthouse in 1917. Two physicians 
from other states have verified this report on the basis of draft- 
board experience. A Negro professional, on the other hand, 
did not believe that Negroes have larger genitalia than whites. 

* Blumenbach, De generis humani varietate nativa, Gottingen, 1775. Trans- 
lated by T. Bendyshe, "On the Natural Variety of Mankind" in The Anthro- 
pological Treatises of Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, p. 68. 

as Geoffrey Gorer, quoted by Dollard, Caste and Class in a Southern Town, 
pp. 161. 


He had worked in military camps where he had a chance to 
see recruits of both races naked, and said there is the usual 
variation within the races, but no uniform difference as be- 
tween races." 66 

Commenting upon these statements Bollard writes: "One 
thing seems certain that the actual differences between 
Negro and white genitalia cannot be as great as they seem to 
be to the whites; it is a question of the psychological size being 
greater than any actual differences could be ... the notion 
is heavily functional in reference to the supposed dangers of 
sexual contact of Negroes with white women." 87 

It is probable that Bollard has here given the correct ex- 
planation of the facts, namely, that there is no actual difference 
in size, but that like body odor, the alleged larger size of the 
Negro genitalia is a function of the white's belief in the un- 
desirability of contact with the Negro. 

As an anatomist with many years of experience in Ameri- 
can anatomical laboratories, the present writer has never had 
occasion to remark any appreciable difference in the size of 
the Negro genitalia as compared with those of whites. Medical 
students are anxious to confirm their beliefs in this connection, 
but except for an occasional case which is soon matched with 
a similar condition in the white in the same laboratory, the 
evidence is usually disappointing to the student. From my 
own experience I would be inclined to say that the Negro 
genitalia are relatively no larger than those of the white. Re- 
calling, however, the greater leg length of the Negro, it is pos- 
sible that the Negro genitalia may be proportionately larger 
than those of the white, but evidence for this is lacking. If 
there is any difference in size, then it is probably so small that 
the popular belief may be dismissed as but another one of the 
legends which have been built up about the anatomy of the 
American Negro. 

wDollard, he. cit. f pp. 160-61. w Ibid. 



We may conclude this survey, then, with the statement that 
the American Negro represents an amalgam into which has 
entered the genes of African Negroes, whites of many nations 
and social classes, and some American Indians and that as far 
as his physical characters are concerned the American Negro 
represents the successful blending of these three principal 
elements into a unique biological type. All his characters are 
perfectly harmonic, and there is every reason to believe that 
he represents a good and desirable biological type. His bi- 
ological future is definitely bright. Should it, however, tran- 
spire that the present legislative and social barriers are main- 
tained in his disfavor, there can be no doubt that the present 
blended or intermediate status of his physical characters will 
be much altered and that he will tend to approximate more 
closely the African Negro status than the white. 



THE Jews are almost always referred to in popular par- 
lance as a "race'*; but it is not only the man in the street 
who does this, for scientists, philosophers, politicians, 
medical men, and many other types of professional men like- 
wise speak of the Jews as a "race." When reference is made to 
the Jewish "race," what is implied is that there exists a defi- 
nite, though widely scattered, group of people, who are 
physically and behaviorally distinguishable from all other 
"races" the "Jewish race." 

The so-called Jewish "race" is generally held to be char- 
acterized by a combination of physical and behavioral traits 
which renders any member of it recognizable anywhere on 
earth. The physical traits are held to be short to middling 
stature, a long hooked nose, greasy skin, dark complexion, 
black, often wavy hair, thick lips, and a tendency to run to 
fat in women. 

The characteristic behavioral traits are said to be aggressive- 
ness, "loudness," unscrupulousness, considerable brain power, 
peculiar gestures, both of the hands and the face, and a quality 
of looking and behaving in a "Jewish" manner, hard to define, 
but nevertheless real. 

There are many people who claim to be able to distinguish 
a Jew from all other people simply by the total appearance 
which he presents, even when his back is all that is visible to 
the observer. 

It is not only non-Jews who assert these things and who 
make such claims, but the Jews as a whole have prided them- 
selves on the "fact" that they are God's Chosen People and 
hence distinguished from all other peoples. Most Jews have 
insisted that they belong to a distinct "race" of mankind, the 
"Jewish race." The Jews have, in fact, presented no exception 


to the general rule, that every human entity considers itself 
just a little better than "the others." 

Whatever may be generally believed about the Jews, and 
whatever the latter may think of themselves, it is high time 
that the facts be dispassionately presented, together with an 
interpretation of their significance. Assertions and denials are 
of little value when they are based on emotion or when they 
are based on misinterpreted observation or both. It is only 
when the actual facts are clearly presented in the light of 
scientific investigation and correctly interpreted that assertions 
and denials are in order, but they are very different from those 
which are usually made, and they are not of the kind which 
is likely to appeal to persons who prefer to accept what their 
emotions dictate rather than be persuaded by scientific demon- 

What, then, has the anthropologist to say in answer to the 
question "Are the Jews a 'race' or any other kind of entity?" 
Do they possess distinguishable physical and behavioral traits? 
If they do, why do they? Are any of these alleged traits inborn 
or are they all acquired? 

These are some of the questions with which we shall deal 
in the present chapter. 

Do the Jews possess a community of physical characters 
which marks them out as a distinct ethnic group among the 
peoples of mankind? To this question the answer of science 
is an unequivocal "No." This does not mean that the Jews are 
not recognizable as a distinct group, but it does mean that 
they are not distinguishable as such upon the basis of physical 
characters. If they are not distinguishable as a distinct group 
upon physical grounds, upon what basis then are they dis- 
tinguishable as a group at all? The answer to that question is: 
primarily, and almost entirely, upon cultural grounds, and 
upon cultural grounds alone. 

We may now proceed to discuss the evidence for these state- 

Our sole authority for the early physical history of the Jews 
is, at present, the Old Testament. The physical anthropology 


of this work is far from consistent, but from it the following 
facts may be pieced together: The ancestors of the early Jews 
lived on the stretch of land skirting the western bank of the 
Euphrates. The home of Terah, Abraham's father, was Ur of 
Chaldees, close to the Persian Gulf; here and to the southwest 
lived numerous Arab tribes, all of whom spoke closely re- 
lated languages which, after the "brownish" son of Noah, 
Shem, we customarily term Semitic (Shemitic). The original 
converts to the religion which Abraham had founded were 
drawn from several of these Arab tribes. Their physical dif- 
ferences, if any, were probably negligible. But shortly after 
they had established themselves as a distinct religious group 
intermixture commenced, first with the Canaanites of the 
lowlands, with whom they had traded for some time, and then 
with the Amorites of the highlands of the southwest. The 
Amorites are supposed to have been distinguished by a high 
frequency of red hair. The Hivites, Amalekites, Kenites, 
Egyptians, and the Hittites all mixed with the Jews during this 
early period of their history, as did many other peoples men- 
tioned in the Old Testament. 

There is good reason to believe that the peoples mentioned 
were characterized by somewhat different frequencies of one 
or more distinctive physical characters. Thus, we know that 
the Amorites showed a high frequency of red hair, while 
the Hittites, who spoke an Indo-Germanic language, pre- 
sented two types, a tall, heavy bearded, hook-nosed type, and 
a moderately tall, beardless type with thick lips, a straight nose 
with wide nostrils, and sunken eyes. 

Thus we see that already in the earliest period of their 
development the people whom we now call Jews were a 
much mixed group, and while for classificatory purposes they 
might all be lumped together as Mediterranean in type, there 
can be no question that they were at this period very far from 
being a people of "pure" ancestry. Owing to their geographic 
position and relations we can be virtually certain that the 
peoples of the East from whom the Jews originated and the 


many others with whom they subsequently mixed were them- 
selves of much mixed ancestry. 

During the period ot the Exodus (1220 B.C.) there was 
further intermixture with the peoples with whom they came 
into contact, principally the types embraced under the term 
Egyptians and probably, also, some Hamitic peoples. Some 
622 crania recovered from a Jewish cemetery at Lachish, dating 
back to approximately 750 B. c. show marked resemblances to 
those of the Dynastic Egyptians. 1 This is not to suggest that 
all Jews at this period resembled Egyptians, but it does sug- 
gest something vastly more significant than that, namely, that 
already, as early as 750 B. c., there existed local groups of Jews 
who in their physical characters resembled, or were identical 
with, the population among whom they were living and dif- 
fered from other groups calling themselves Jews. This is, of 
course, exactly the state of affairs that we encounter today, and 
there is every reason to believe that it has been increasingly so 
from the earliest times. In other words, the Jews were never at 
any time characterized by a community of physical characters, 
but generally varied according to the populations among whom 
they lived. This would mean either that they originated from 
these populations or that they had become physically identified 
with them as a result of intermixture. We shall see that the 
latter explanation is the one which most nearly agrees with 
the facts. 

During the Diaspora the Jews have been dispersed to prac- 
tically every part of the earth and have intermixed with 
numerous peoples. In the sixth century B. c., during the 
Babylonian captivity, there was some intermixture with many 
Mesopotamian peoples. During the Hellenistic period, in the 
fourth century B. c., Jews followed Alexander the Great into 
the Hellenistic world, into Egypt, Syria, Asia Minor, Mace- 
donia, to mention a few of the more important regions into 
which they penetrated and settled. The pattern followed by 

i Risdon, "A Study of the Cranial and other Human Remains from Palestine 
Excavated at Tell Duweir (Lachish)/' Biometrika, XXXI (1939), 99-166. 


these Jews was identical with that which the Jews have always 
followed with such great success: they took over the language 
of the Greek-speaking populations and in general identified 
themselves with Hellenistic culture. 

In the second century B. c., at the time of the Maccabees, 
there commenced the movement of the Jews into the Roman 
world which carried them to the farthest corners of the Roman 
Empire, especially to Western Europe and particularly to 
Spain, Italy, France, and the Rhineland of Germany. A very 
large number of Jews settled along the Rhine in the region 
of Frankfurt, Worms, Cologne, and Trier. The language 
spoken in that region during the Middle Ages was adopted by 
the Jews and is preserved, with but little modification, to this 
day in the form of Yiddish. It is preserved in its purest form 
practically unchanged to the present day in certain Cantons 
of Switzerland. In its Eastern European form it is spoken by 
many more Jews than speak Hebrew or any other single 

During the eleventh century, at the time of the First Crusade, 
the plunder and massacre of the Jews by these Christian knights 
started a Jewish migration eastward, which was accelerated 
into a mass migration after the thirteenth century. These 
Rhineland Jews settled in what is now Galicia, Bukovina, and 
the southern and western Ukraine. Here they met and merged 
with the earlier Jewish settlements and adopted as their com- 
mon language the speech of the Rhineland group, Yiddish. 
These came to be known as the Ashkenazim (the Hebrew name 
for Germany), as distinguished from the Jews of Spanish 
origin, the Sephardim. 

It has been asserted that the modern Sephardim are a very 
much more homogeneous group physically than the Ashke- 
nazim and that they "preserve with reasonable fidelity the 
racial character of their Palestinian ancestors." 2 

That the Sephardic Jews are less variable inlheir characters 
than the Ashkenazim is possible, since they may be slightly 

2 Coon, "Have the Jews a Racial Identity?" in Jews in a Gentile World 
(edited by L Graeber and S. H. Britt), p. 31. 


less mixed. It is, however, very greatly to be doubted that they 
preserve with any fidelity at all the "racial" character of their 
Palestinian ancestors. This is greatly to be doubted for the 
reason that "their Palestinian ancestors" were themselves of 
very different types. Indeed, it is doubtful whether anyone 
is today in a position to say exactly what the Palestinian an- 
cestry of the Jews was; certainly, even less can be said con- 
cerning the anthropological characters of the groups which 
entered into that ancestry. At the present time it would be 
wisest to take the view that if there does exist a significant 
physical difference between the Sephardim and the Ashke- 
nazim, then that difference is due to the somewhat different 
biological history of the two groups. As we shall see there are 
a much greater proportion of blond types among the Ashke- 
nazim than among the Sephardim. It must be recalled that dur- 
ing their residence in Spain, from the beginning of the eleventh 
to the end of the fifteenth century, the Sephardim certainly 
underwent some admixture with the Moors and for some 
three centuries with the non-Moorish populations of Spain 
and Portugal. 

To list the peoples with whom the Jews have at one time 
or another intermixed would include a very large proportion 
of the populations of the world. This does not mean that the 
Jews as a whole have undergone such mixture, but and this 
is the important point that different populations of Jews have 
undergone independent and different kinds and degrees of 
intermixture with various populations. Now, the result of 
such different biological experiences would be, even if the 
Jews had started off as a homogeneous group which they 
did not that a certain amount of diversification in physical 
characters would eventually be produced between different 
local groups of Jews. That this is actually what has occurred 
is proven both by the historical facts and the analysis of meas- 
urable anthropological characters. Thus, in Daghestan in the 
Caucasus, only 7 percent of the Jews show light-colored eyes; 
among German Jews in Baden, however, this percentage rises 
to 51.2; in the city of Vienna the percentage is 30, in Poland 


45 percent, but among the Samaritans of Jerusalem it is only 
11.1 percent. It is the same with hair color. Among the 
Samaritans only 3.7 percent showed blond hair; in Italy the 
percentage rises to 11.8, in Rumania to 14.7, to 17.9 in 
Hungary, 20.4 in England, and 29.0 in Lithuania. In the city 
of Riga, Latvia, the proportion is 36 percent. In Jerusalem 
Jewish Ashkenazi children showed 40 percent blonds and 
30 percent blue eyes, while the Sephardim showed 10 per- 
cent blonds and even fewer blue eyes. 

The census of schoolchildren in Germany taken in the 
nineteenth century under the direction of Virchow, revealed 
that among 75,000 Jewish children 32 percent had light hair 
and 46 percent light eyes. 3 In Austria these figures were 28 
and 54 percent, respectively, and in England 26 and 41 percent. 
As Fishberg 4 long ago pointed out, these figures follow the 
population trends for blondness as a whole, exemplified by 
the figures for England, Germany, and Riga, whereas in Italy, 
where the population is predominantly brunette, less than 12 
percent of the Jews are blond, and in the Caucasus, North 
Africa, and Turkestan the percentage is even less. 

Even with respect to that unreliable, but much beloved 
child of the anthropologist, the cephalic index 5 or form of 
the head, the variation between different local groups of Jews 
is considerable. Among London Ashkenazim one finds 28.3 
percent of long-heads (dolichocephals), 28.3 percent of mod- 
erately round-heads (mesocephals), and 47.4 percent of round 
or broad-heads (brachycephals), among South Russian Jews 
these figures are, respectively i, 18, and 81 percent, for Lon- 
don Sephardim these figures are 17 percent dolichocephalic, 
and 34 percent brachycephalic; Galician and Lithuanian 

3 Virchow, "Gesammtbericht uber die von der deutschen anthropologischen 
Gesellschaft veranlassten Erhebungen iiber die Farbe der Haute, der Haare und 
der Augen der Schulkinder in Deutschland/' Archiv fur Anthropologie, XVI 
(1886), pp. 275-475. 4 Fishberg, The Jews. 

The cephalic index is determined by multiplying the maximum breadth 
of the head by 100 and dividing that sum by the maximum length. The 
three indices thus yielded are: Less than 76.0 points = long-headed (dolicho- 
cephalic), 76.0-80.9 points = medium -headed (mesocephalic), 81.0 points and 
over a broad-headed (brachycephalic). 


Jews yield a proportion of 85 percent brachycephals and only 
3.8 percent dolichocephals. 

If, as is customarily done, the mean or average shape of the 



(The figures in parentheses refer to the females) 

Region or Group 

Dark Light 

Dark Fair Red 





55.0 45.0 

96.8 0.5 2.6 




(56.8) (43.2) 

(86.4) 8.0 (5.6) 





53.8 46.1 

74.0 21.5 4.3 




(60.0) (40.0) 

(76.0) (20.0) (4.0) 





56-7 43-3 

76.4 19.3 4.3 




(61.8) (38.1) 

(83.1) (14.0) (2.9) 




Southern Russia 

64.8 35.2 

81.7 14.8 2.4 




(75.6) (24.4) 

(83.0) (14.6) (3.5) 





65.2 34.8 

68.1 29.0 2.0 





48.7 51.3 

83.3 14.7 2.8 





50-7 49-3 

77.1 17.9 5.0 








48.8 51.2 

84.9 12.8 2.3 

. . . 


61.3 38.7 

77.6 20.4 2.5 

. . 

. . 

(66.8) (33.2) 

(88.1) (11.9) (0.0) 



67.6 32.3 

88.2 11.8 ... 





69.1 30.9 

80.0 18.2 1.8 

. . . 

North Africa 

83.1 16.9 

92.2 5.2 2.6 


4 .6 



93.0 7.0 

97.0 0.5 2.5 




89.0 11.0 

93.0 5.0 2.0 





85.0 15.0 

98.0 2.0 ... 





88.9 11.1 

96.3 3.7 o.o 


(88.9) (11.1) 

(92.6) 0.0 (7.4) 

. . * 


74.0 26.0 

94.O 2.O 4.0 






1OO.O ... 


<* From Brutzkus, "Jewish Anthropology/' The Jewish People. 

head is given, a very incorrect idea is obtained of the actual 
conditions prevailing among the Jews so far as shape of head 
is concerned. It is the percentage distribution of the various 
head shapes in such a population which gives us a true account 
of these conditions. These percentage distributions show that 
head shape or cephalic index, like all other characters, is very 
variable among the Jews as a whole, the head shape of the 


Jews in various countries varying substantially from one to 
another, as is demonstrated in the following table. 



Daghestan North Yemen 

Cephalic Index Caucasus Europe Africa Arabia 

Hyperdolichocephalic (-76) 
Dolichocephalic (76-77) 
Subdolichocephalic (78-79) 
Mesocephalic (80-81) 
Subbrachycephalic (82-83) 
Brachycephalic (84-85) 
Hyperbrachycephalic (86- ) 


47- 8 9 


^B 1 









Number of observations 213 2,641 77 78 

o From Kautsky, Are the Jews a Race? The definitions of the cephalic index 
vary slightly from those generally accepted, but not enough to affect the dis- 

This table shows that Caucasian Jews have predominantly 
round heads, while those in North Africa, particularly those 
in Arabia, are predominantly long-headed and those in Europe 
are predominantly of intermediate type. 

Sufficient, I hope, has been said concerning the origins of 
the Jews and of the variability of only a small selection of 
their physical characters, to show how very mixed and how very 
variable the Jews are in both their ancestry and their physical 
characters. From the standpoint of scientific classification, from 
the standpoint of physical anthropology, and from the stand- 
point of zoology there is no such thing as a Jewish physical 
type, and there is not, nor was there ever, even anything re- 
motely resembling a Jewish "race" or ethnic group. 

Are the Jews, then, constituted of a number of different 
ethnic groups distinguishable from other non-Jewish ethnic 
groups? The answer is "No." There are certainly many dif- 
ferent types of Jews, but these, in general, do not sufficiently 
differ from the populations among whom they live to justify 


their being distinguished from those populations on physical 
grounds and classified as distinct ethnic groups. It is quite 
impossible to distinguish Jews from most of the native popula- 
tions among which they live in the East, in the Orient, and in 
many other localities. Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, an acute ob- 
server and himself a Jew, writes of his difficulty in distinguish- 
ing Jews from non-Jews in Palestine, "for in Palestine,'* he 
writes, "there is no way of telling at first glance whether a 
person is a Christian, a Jew, or a Mohammedan.'* "Very sel- 
dom much more seldom, anyway, than in Carlsbad or 
Marienbad one sees the characteristic 'Struck* 6 heads or the 
Oriental beauties as they were painted in my youth by Sichel. 
The so-called 'Jewish nose' too, supposedly an Aramaic-Arab 
characteristic, is hardly more frequent than the pug-nose. Noses 
of 'western' or 'northern* form predominate (to use Giinther's 
nomenclature), and the formation, too, of lips, hair, eyes and 
hands is hardly different from the average European types. 
One even sees, especially among the children, a surprisingly 
large number of blonde and blue-eyed types. In a kindergarten 
I counted 32 blondes among 54 children, that is, more than 
50 percent." T 

Anyone who has lived for any length of time in Italy will 
know that it is utterly impossible to tell a Jew from an Italian 
in that country. The same is not, how r ever, true of all lands, 
for in England, in Germany, and in America it is certainly 
possible, with a high degree of accuracy to pick out many per- 
sons who are Jews as distinguished from non-Jews of all types. 
Is the fact that one can do so due to the physical characters of 
these persons, characters which distinguish them from the rest 
of the population? Again, the answer is "No!" 

6 Hermann Struck, Jewish artist who specialized in rendering the heads of 
Jewish orthodox "types." 

7 Hirschfeld, Men and Women, pp. 277-78. Hirschfeld adds: "Not pure, 
but mixed, races are matter of course biologically. How, then, should there 
be 'pure' races among the whites when we consider that every individual 
possesses and unites in himself a line of paternal and maternal ancestors em- 
bracing thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands of generations? How 
extraordinarily various must have been the mixture of genes over so long a 
period I " 


There undoubtedly exists a certain quality of looking 
Jewish, but this quality is not due so much to any inherited 
characters of the persons in question, as to certain culturally 
acquired habits of expression, facial, vocal, muscular, and 
mental. Such habits do to a very impressive extent influence 
the appearance of the individual and determine the impres- 
sion which he makes upon others. 

The fact is that the Jews are neither a "race" nor an ethnic 
group nor yet a number of ethnic groups no more so, in- 
deed, than are Catholics, Protestants, or Moslems. It is, in 
fact, as incorrect to speak of a "Jewish race" or ethnic group as 
it would be to speak of a Catholic, Protestant, or Moslem 
"race" or ethnic group. What, then, does the term "Jew" 
mean? Strictly speaking, a person is a Jew by virtue of his 
adherence to the Jewish religion. If he is not a member of 
organized Judaism, then he is not a Jew. 

There is, however, another sense in which a person who 
does not subscribe to the tenets of the Jewish religion may 
nevertheless be correctly described as exhibiting Jewish traits, 
in just the same way as we say of a person that he looks or 
behaves like a Frenchman, or a German, or a member of any 
other national group. The Jews are not a nation, but inter- 
estingly enough they have preserved cultural traits, almost 
everywhere, which we usually associate with differences in 
national culture; these traits, therefore, have a quasi-national 
character. The Jews, wherever they have been, have clung 
tenaciously to their ancient beliefs and ways of life, more so 
than any other Western people of whom we have any knowl- 
edge, and they have generally preserved a certain community 
of cultural traits. These traits are cultural traits, not biological 
ones. Any person who is born into or brought up in a Jewish 
cultural environment will acquire the traits of behavior and 
certain personality traits peculiar to that culture. These are 
the traits which make many Jews socially "visible" in many 
of the communities in which they live. These traits, taken col- 
lectively, differ sufficiently from those which prevail in the 
communities in which Jews generally live, to render them at 


once distinguishable from practically all other members of 
each of these communities. 

It is extremely difficult to define the "quality of looking 
Jewish," even though it is doubtful whether anyone could 
be found who would deny that such a quality exists. This 
quality is exhibited not only in the facial expression, but in 
the whole expression of the body in its movements and in 
its gesticulations. No attempt to define this quality will be 
made here, because it defies definition; but that it exists in 
many Jews and that it is culturally determined there can be 
little doubt. The quality is completely lost by persons whose 
recent ancestors have abandoned Jewish culture for several 
generations and who have themselves been raised in a non- 
Jewish culture. It is even lost, or is never developed, in Jews 
who have been educated predominantly in a non-Jewish cul- 
tural environment. Jews such as the latter are Jews by religion 
alone, culturally they belong to whatever culture in which 
they have been raised and educated, be it English, French, 
German, Italian, or what not. 

What makes certain persons or communities of persons 
visible or distinguishable as Jews is neither their physical 
appearance, nor the fact of their adherence to the religion of 
Judaism, but certain cultural traits which they have acquired 
in a Jewish cultural environment. 

We have, then, a rather interesting situation: A person is 
never a Jew by virtue of belonging to some definite physical 
type, nor is a person necessarily recognizable as a Jew because 
he subscribes to the tenets of the Jewish religion; he is a Jew 
by religion, but in every other way he may be culturally non- 
Jewish; finally, only those persons are recognizable as Jewish 
who exhibit certain behavioral traits commonly associated 
with Jews, yet such persons may not subscribe to the Jewish 
religion, but to some other religion or to none at all. 

We see, then, that actually it is membership in Jewish 
culture which makes a person a Jew, and nothing else, not 
even his adherence to Judaism. 

It is possible to distinguish many Jews from members of 


other cultural groups for the same reason that it is possible to 
distinguish Englishmen from such groups, or Americans, 
Frenchmen, Italians, and Germans. Every cultural group 
differs by virtue of its difference in culture from every other 
cultural group, and each cultural group molds the behavior 
of every one of its members according to its own pattern. 
Members of one cultural group do not readily fit into the 
pattern of another. Because of the complexities which char- 
acterize each separate pattern of culture, persons who have 
been brought up in one culture cannot and should not be ex- 
pected to make a perfect adjustment to a different pattern of 
culture however closely related the latter may be. Even when 
persons are anxious to free themselves from one culture and 
adopt, and bcome part of, another, such persons rarely, if ever, 
succeed in making the complete change. Once a cultural pat- 
tern has been woven, it is generally not possible to unravel it 
and weave a completely new one. The reason for this is that 
habits of behavior formed in early life become, in a very real 
sense, part of one's second nature; it is notoriously difficult 
to throw such habits off in later life. 

This, of course, explains why persons of Jewish cultural 
background, or persons of any other cultural background, try 
as they may, usually fail to free themselves from the condition- 
ing effects of that background. 

What, in the case of persons who are recognizable as Jews, 
are these conditioning effects which render them distinctive to 
other cultural groups? Before we attempt an answer to this 
question it must be emphasized that not all persons who have 
been brought up in a Jewish cultural environment exhibit 
Jewish cultural traits. There are many varieties and degrees 
of Jewish culture, some being much less intense than others, 
and a large proportion of them are modified by the culture 
in which the family or community happens to have lived for 
some generations. In addition to this, some individuals take 
rather more readily to the gentile culture outside the home 
than they do to that within the home or local community, while 


still others emancipate themselves very early from the do- 
mestic cultural environment. 

It will be generally agreed that those persons who are 
readily identifiable as Jews almost always originate from the 
lower socio-economic classes of their community. As in all 
lower socio-economic classes, the conditions of life are not 
conducive to the development of gentle manners and refined 
thoughts or ways of expressing them. In fact, the very con- 
trary is likely to be the case. Good breeding is something 
one does not expect from anyone but those who have en- 
joyed the necessary opportunities. Jews of the lower socio- 
economic classes are no better bred than the members of the 
equivalent classes of any other culture, and for the same 
reasons: because the struggle to keep body and soul together 
had been a full-time job, while the opportunities for develop- 
ing into a well-bred person have been rare indeed. 

What distinguishes the conduct of persons who are recog- 
nizable as Jews from other behavior is, of course, the addition 
of a certain cultural quality to that behavior. Thus, persons 
who have lived the greater part of their early life in a lower 
socio-economic cultural environment generally exhibit a cer- 
tain coarseness and wildness of expression in their features. 
They habitually feel and think in certain culturally common 
ways, and such emotions and thoughts register themselves in 
the index which is provided by the thirty-two muscles of ex- 
pression in the face. 

Just as there is such a thing as an English, a German, a 
French, an Italian, and even an American cast of features, so 
there is such a thing as a Jewish cast of face. This cast of face 
is often taken to be biologically determined, but the fact is 
that it is culturally determined in precisely the manner which 
has been indicated. 

Add to the culturally determined cast of face traditionally 
determined gesticulations of the face and body, character of 
speech, together with certain likewise culturally determined 
preferences for color combinations, style, and total ensemble 


of clothes, and we have a powerful association of traits which 
readily enables one to distinguish certain Jewish persons from 
non-Jews. That all these traits are culturally determined is 
readily proven by the fact that every last trace of them may 
be completely lost in a single generation following the adop- 
tion of a non-Jewish culture. 

It should be clear that no trait is in itself objectionable, but 
certain differences in behavior exhibited by some Jews have 
been so distinguished by those who see reason to do so. Many 
of the traits which non-Jews find objectionable in Jews are the 
very traits upon which some of the latter pride themselves. 
Aggressiveness and the habit of gesticulation with the hands, 
for example. 

Centuries of dispossession, massacre, oppression, and dis- 
crimination have forced upon many Jews the absolute neces- 
sity of a certain amount of aggressiveness or else the in- 
evitability of perishing. Aggressiveness is a quality of great 
survival value, and it is very fortunate that the Jews were 
able to save themselves from complete destruction by de- 
veloping it to a high degree. That those who have forced the 
Jews to develop this quality should find it objectionable is, 
of course, the usual sad logic by which the wrongheaded con- 
duct themselves in these matters. Oppression produces aggres- 
siveness. When oppression and discrimination against the Jews 
shall have ceased, their aggressiveness will vanish; but as long 
as that oppression and discrimination continues, they will need 
their aggressiveness in order to hold their own in the world. 
From the standpoint of the scientist objectively evaluating 
its quality within the framework in which it functions, the 
aggressiveness of many Jews is a highly desirable quality, 
since it enables them to survive in a hostile world. With the 
disappearance of this hostility, the necessity for aggressiveness 
will disappear. But for those who maintain this hostility to 
object to the aggressiveness which they have forced upon the 
Jews is something less than reasonable. 

With respect to the gesticulations of Jews, these are often 
called vulgar by peoples who are not given to expressing them- 


selves in any other way than by speech. Such a judgment is, 
however, purely subjective. Many Jews regard their habits of 
gesticulation as a kind of auxiliary language, without which 
they are practically tongue-tied, and those who have studied 
these gestures find them very expressive indeed. Neverthe- 
less, those who indulge in them are at once rendered identifi- 
able thereby as Jews, in spite of the fact that non-Jews may 
acquire the same habits of gesticulation by association with 

Interestingly enough the gestures customarily used by many 
Jews have been asserted to be "racially" determined. Nothing 
could be farther from the truth. Scientific investigation of 
the gestural behavior of Eastern Jews and Southern Italians 
living in New York City, show that the more members of 
each of these groups become assimilated into the so-called 
Americanized community, the more do they lose the gestural 
traits associated with the original group. 8 Gesture has no con- 
nection whatever with biological factors, but merely represents 
a mode of expression peculiar to certain cultural conditions 

We see, then, that it is, indeed, not a difficult matter to 
distinguish many Jews by means of certain traits which they 
exhibit; but it should also be clear that those traits are all 
culturally determined and have no connection whatever with 
inborn biological factors. Neither on physical nor on mental 
grounds can the Jews be distinguished as an ethnic group. 

This brings us to the oft-repeated assertion that the Jews 
have a greater amount of brain power than other peoples. 
This statement is, of course, not made in order to flatter Jews, 
but is rather urged as something against them, because, it is 
held, owing to their superior brain power one is thereby 
placed at a disadvantage in competition with them. 

Science knows of no evidence which would substantiate the 
claim that Jews or any other people have better brains than 
any other. This is not to say that such differences may not 
exist; they may, but if they do, science has been unable to 

8ron, Gesture and Environment. 


demonstrate them. The business acumen, the scholastic, and 
the interpretative musical abilities of Jews have been specially 
cultivated. The life of the merchant has been forced upon 
Jews under the most unfavorable circumstances; under such 
conditions he has in each generation been forced to develop 
a sharpness of wit which would enable him to survive. Scholar- 
ship has been a revered tradition among Jews for many cen- 
turies, furthermore, it has, in the modern world, often been 
the one means of raising himself socially or of escaping from 
the depressing conditions of life in the ghetto. It is a fact that 
in order to make his way in the world the Jew has had to 
offer a great deal more than anyone else; he has simply been 
forced to do better than anyone else. 9 

It may be that owing to the great variety of intermixture 
which Jews have undergone their considerable physical vari- 
ability is also exhibited in their mental capacities, that there 
may be a somewhat greater frequency of mentally well- 
endowed individuals among them. Whether this is so or not we 
cannot tell, and it would in any event be of no great moment 
if we could, for the reason that it is not so much biological 
as cultural factors which, other things being more or less equal, 
determine what a mind shall be like. As Boas has written: "Our 
conclusion is that the claim to biologically determined mental 
qualities of races is not tenable. Much less have we a right 
to speak of biologically determined superiority of one race 
over another. Every race contains so many genetically dis- 
tinct strains, and the social behavior is so entirely dependent 
upon the life experience to which every individual is exposed, 
that individuals of the same type when exposed to different 
surroundings will react quite differently, while individuals of 
different types when exposed to the same environment may 
react the same way/' 10 

The facts, then, lead to the following conclusions: Owing 
to the original mixed ancestry of the Jews and their subsequent 

The Negro, on the other hand, has been forced to the opposite extreme. 
In order to succeed at all he must, as a rule, do worse than anyone else. He 
mustn't matter. 

10 Boas, "Racial Purity/' Asia, XL (1940), 234. 


history of intermixture with every people among whom they 
have lived and continue to live, the Jews of different regions 
are neither genetically nor physically equivalent. In each 
country the Jews closely resemble the general population in 
their physical characters, but many Jews may differ from that 
population in behavioral characters because they have been 
primarily educated in a Jewish cultural environment rather 
than in that of the general population. As Huxley and Haddon 
have said: "The word Jew is valid more as a socio-religious 
or pseudo-national description than as an ethnic term in any 
genetic sense. Many 'Jewish' characteristics are without doubt 
much more the product of Jewish tradition and upbringing, 
and especially of reaction against external pressure and per- 
secution, than of heredity." 1X 

It would be better to call the Jews a quasi-national rather 
than a pseudo-national group for there is nothing "pseudo" 
about their nationalistic cultural traits, even though they may 
not be definitely recognized as a nation neatly delimited by 
definite geographic boundaries. It is by virtue of the traits of 
this quasi-Jewish national culture that a Jewish community 
may be said to exist and that any person exhibiting these traits 
may be recognized as a Jew, whether he is an adherent of the 
Jewish religion or not. Such traits are not inborn, but ac- 
quired, and they have nothing whatever to do with biological 
or so-called "racial" conditions. They are conditioned by 
culture alone. 

A Jewish physical type has been neither preserved nor trans- 
mitted down to the present day, because such a type never 
existed; if such a type had existed it would long ago have been 
dissolved as a result of the subsequent intermixture of Jews 
with other peoples. What the Jews have preserved and trans- 
mitted have been neither physical nor mental "racial" traits, 
but religious and cultural traditions and modes of conduct. 

The final conclusion is, then, that the Jews are not and 
never have been a "race" or ethnic group, but they are, and 
always have been, a socio-cultural entity best described as a 
"quasi-national" group. 
11 Huxley and Haddon, We Europeans, pp. 73-74. 



IN THE PRESENT CONDITION of domestic and world affairs we 
are, all of us, daily confronted with many conflicting, con- 
tradictory, and often novel viewpoints. It must be our task, 
seriously undertaken, to evaluate these ideas and viewpoints 
for ourselves, so that we may arrive at a just decision concern- 
ing them which will enable us to act effectively and for the 
best interest of everyone concerned. This chapter is written 
from the standpoint of those who believe that democracy is 
the best form of government for a free and intelligent people 
a form of government in which every citizen has, or may have, 
an effective voice in regulating the manner in which he and 
his fellows shall be governed. 

If it be agreed that democracy is the form of government 
which prevails in this country and that among us live citizens 
who are members of different ethnic groups, it is a just and 
proper inquiry and in the interests of us all, to ask whether 
there are any physical and mental qualities peculiar to any of 
these groups which our social order needs to consider in the 
government of this country. Today, more than ever, this ques- 
tion needs to be asked and the evidence sympathetically dis- 
cussed, for we are today facing one of those recurring periods 
in the history of our development in which payment is being 
exacted for our mistakes as well as for those of an earlier gen- 
eration. Many of those mistakes are a matter of very recent 
history. It will serve us not at all to lament them; they have 
been made and have rebounded upon us. The monster that 
has been let loose upon the world is of our own making, and 
whether we are willing to face the fact or not, we are, all of 
us, individually and collectively, responsible for the ghastly 
form which he has assumed. Moreover, something of each of 
us has gone into the making of this Frankenstein, whose name 
is Hitler and Naziism. If we are to combat this monster sue- 


cessfully, then we must become fully aware of the means by 
which we may do so. For the present conflict, at home and 
abroad, is as much one of ideas as of arms ideas which are 
being made to infiltrate the mind in such a manner that the 
victim is, for the most part, unaware of what is happening 
until it is too late. 

Let it be recalled that the second World War is the first in 
which ideas have been dropped from the skies, over the radio 
waves as well as from airplanes, before the bombs them- 
selves began to wreak their inhuman havoc. Among these 
ideas, explicitly as well as in disguised form, racism played 
and plays a prominent part. Linking the Jews with whatever 
it is desired to discredit is the first step in the process of the 
conquest and confusion of thought. It is an old and effective 
device used by unscrupulous politicians for sidetracking the 
public attention from vital issues and from their own nefarious 
activities. In Europe we have witnessed the imposition of a 
purely mythological dogma, first upon the Jews and then upon 
the Poles, a dogma which deprives all those who are not so- 
called "Aryans" of their civil rights and of the right to earn 
a living. The Poles have been beaten with their own stick, for 
their treatment of the Jews in prewar days was based upon 
the very same ideas and prejudices that the Germans have 
now put into effect against them. 1 What may at first be prac- 
ticed on a local scale may spread until it is practiced nationally, 
and what is practiced nationally may spread until it becomes 
international. One nation learns from another. It is for us to 
decide whether it is the spirit of the Nazi racist or the spirit of 
democracy, of freedom and brotherhood, which is to become 
both national and international. 

If men have acted upon ideas and beliefs which have brought 
the world to its present sorry state, then surely it should be 
clear to everyone in his proper senses that something is seri- 
ously wrong with such ideas and beliefs. And is there anywhere 
anyone who can for a moment entertain a doubt upon that 

i It is regrettable to have to record that the Polish government in exile, 
its army, and official representatives maintain these prejudices unchanged. 


score? If humanity is to be saved, and it is no less a matter than 
that, every one of us must make the greatest endeavor in his 
power to clarify his thoughts upon this most urgent of all 
problems with which we, as human beings, are today faced. 
We have too long taken things for granted and have lived too 
easily off our prejudices. If it is our privilege and our right to 
live and work upon this earth, then we must once more clearly 
realize that with that privilege and that right is inseparably 
linked the obligation to make this earth an increasingly better 
and happier place for all who shall live on it. 

In the free democracy of the United States of America we 
have every opportunity open to us to make our lives a bless- 
ing to ourselves and to all the generations which will follow 
us in this great land first, and perhaps later, by our example, 
in all the rest of the world. 

Europe, the Europe from which we all escaped, whether we 
came on the Mayflower or on a cargo vessel, shows us today 
where we shall end if we think that the shape of the nose or 
the color of the skin has anything to do with human values and 
culture. The lights in Europe have gone out, one by one; 
extinguished by the evil breath of men. Let us do everything 
in our power to keep the lights burning here, so that we may 
continue to live in enlightenment and to know and enjoy the 
benefits of a free society, benefits which will ever increase and 
will soon, let us hope extend to the uttermost limits of the 

How may we achieve this? The answer is in two words: 
"enlightened action." Action without a thoroughly sound 
basis in thought, that is, in analyzed fact, to support it is 
worthless, as is the soundest thought which is not realized in 
action. The first is dangerous; the second sterile. Thought 
without action and action without thought eventually lead to 
the same disastrous results. 

In the preceding pages we have examined the concept of 
"race" in the light of its historical development, and we have 
analyzed it in terms of the most recent and soundest scientific 
evidence. We have seen how erroneous is the general concep- 


tion of "race" a conception which presupposes the existence 
of different groups of mankind, each believed to possess in- 
born physical and mental traits that are reflected in differ- 
ences in national outlook, culture, social behavior, and so 

We have seen that far too great significance has been at- 
tributed to both the physical and the mental differences exist- 
ing in some degree between different ethnic groups. Within 
certain broad limits we can demonstrate the physical differ- 
ences, and we can observe those of culture and behavior; but 
the one thing that we cannot do is to prove, or demonstrate, 
that differences of behavior and culture have anything to do 
with innate or inherited qualities. 

Certainly there appear to be differences in temperament, 
intellectual attitudes, and cultural behavior between ethnic 
groups; but there is no reason to believe that these differences 
are inborn. As we have seen, for the most part they seem to 
be due to differences in cultural conditions, different social 
backgrounds, and differences in economic conditions. The 
acquired nature of these differences should be strongly enough 
indicated to us in the United States, where these differences 
have been given a chance to merge into a fairly uniform char- 
acter, and there has emerged, as a result, a typical American 
temperament or psychology, contrasting sharply with the Brit- 
ish, French, German, and Italian psychology or temperament. 

We have seen that the physical differences which exist be- 
tween the varieties of mankind cannot be intelligently dis- 
cussed in terms of physical or cultural superiority to one 
another. There are no superior or inferior groups by birth. 
If there are any inborn mental differences associated with the 
physical differences which distinguish different ethnic groups, 
then science has been unable to discover them. Physical dif- 
ferences are purely external and are only superficially as- 
sociated with cultural differences existing or imputed. Yet 
these external differences provide a convenient peg upon 
which to hang all sorts of imagined internal differences, moral, 
Intellectual, mental, and emotional. In this way physical dif- 


ferences become the basis for social discrimination and the 
creation of social inequalities. But science is aware of no such 
association between external and internal characters, except, 
of course, such as are socially produced. 

In our own society such differences of behavior and char- 
acter as seem to exist between ethnic groups are due princi- 
pally to inequalities in the opportunities for social and eco- 
nomic betterment which have been afforded them, not to 
unalterable inborn or hereditary differences. No ethnic group 
has a monopoly of good or bad hereditary qualities. The 
existence of any ethnic group at the present time is proof of 
the fact that it possesses a majority of desirable qualities, 
otherwise it could not have survived to the present time. 

Give every ethnic group within our democracy an equal 
social opportunity, and it may be predicted that one will find 
between minds only such differences as now exist between in- 
dividuals of the same ethnic group who have enjoyed equal 
cultural opportunities. Every human being, whatever his 
ethnic affiliation, differs from every other in his make-up and 
has had a somewhat different inheritance and different op- 
portunities. Would not this be a very dull world were we all 
poured to the same mold? We should be bored to tears! But 
as things .are, the great reservoir of diversity upon which we 
can draw will always serve to enliven and increase our interest 
in life. 

The important differences are not differences between "ra- 
cial" averages, but between individuals; and it is because of 
the existence of individual differences, which have little 
or nothing to do with "race," that a true democracy must aim 
to devote its attention to individual differences regardless of 
whether the individual has a narrow nose or a broad one. A 
democracy must recognize differences and make every possible 
allowance for them the differences which individuals ex- 
hibit, not as members of different ethnic groups, but as in- 
dividual citizens, individuals differing in innumerable ways 
and capable of making individualized contributions of all 
sorts to our common culture. It is for this reason that democ- 


racy must be actively concerned with the task of affording 
every individual, regardless of group affiliation, adequate op- 
portunities for self-development, so that the best that every 
individual has within him to give shall be given, both for his 
own happiness and for that of his fellows. We may here recall 
the words of a great American, Charles Sumner: "The true 
greatness of nations is in those qualities which constitute the 
greatness of the individual/' 

Let us be human beings first and put the dangerous myth 
of "race** in its proper place in the Museum of Ugly Human 

Stressing superficial differences between people only helps 
to maintain an illusion in our minds that there may be more 
fundamental differences behind them. What we, as informed 
and enlightened citizens living under a democratic form of 
government, ought to do is to stress the fundamental kinship 
of all mankind; to stress the likenesses that we all bear to one 
another; to recognize the essential unity of all mankind in 
the very differences which individuals of all ethnic groups 

Every political system is capable of some improvement, and 
our democracy is no exception. We stand to profit immediately 
by giving up acting on "racial" mythology the "racial" 
mythology that lurks in the minds of most of us and contrib- 
utes so much to social friction. But we cannot change the 
conditions of social friction merely by changing our minds. 
As members of an unregimented thinking democracy, we 
should study these things in order to keep them from adding 
to social friction, realizing that we have been and" are being 
snobs and that there will be a price to pay if we go on being 
snobs. Let us by acting upon such facts and their interpreta- 
tion as have been presented in the pages of this book afford 
the benefits of our democracy to all who live in it, so that we 
may truly "promote the general welfare and secure the bless- 
ings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity." This is the 
principle which is enshrined in the Constitution which cre- 
ated the Government of the United States. 


American democracy, at least in theory, is built upon the 
fundamental principle that all people should enjoy the same 
prerogatives and privileges because, by and large, they all pos- 
sess the potentialities which would enable them to benefit by 
them, individually and mutually, and this is the first and 
greatest of the principles laid down in the Declaration of In- 
dependence, a document which represents the noblest and 
truest declaration of the principles of human liberty ever 
penned. Science and humane thought support this principle 
to the full, and Vice-President Henry Wallace has well de- 
fined it as the genetic basis of democracy. 

The flaring of latent "racial" enmities in times of economic 
stress is an association of events which has never been more 
painfully evident than it is today. Everywhere in the world 
under conditions of economic stress "race" prejudice has be- 
come a powerful weapon with which minority groups have 
been beaten. Physical and cultural differences are seized upon 
and made the basis for group antagonism and discrimination. 
Trivial things, such as differences in manners, polish, social 
backgrounds, religious beliefs, and so forth, which if sympa- 
thetically understood would be points of interest and value, 
become the bases of distrust. Just as a child runs to its mother 
as a familiar refuge when in difficulties, so most of us run 
to our own group when we feel insecure, and we fancy that 
anyone not of our own group is a bogeyman and the cause 
of all our troubles. In a democracy there should be no place 
for such childish conduct; nor should there be for the con- 
ditions which give rise to it, namely, improper education and 
economic insecurity. We can remedy these conditions. We 
can improve education and social and economic conditions 
so that all men may share in them equally. The power lies 
within our own hands; let us then use it. 

We are the result of the mixing of many different ethnic 
groups; every one of us is a much-mixed alloy, having all the 
added strength and qualities which the alloy possesses as com- 
pared with the unalloyed metal. Let us use that strength for 


the common good. Yes, so that the many may become truly 

It is a fundamental tenet of democracy that it must balance 
the interests of all its component groups and citizens. As we 
have seen, there is nothing in the nature of any group, ethnic 
or otherwise, which gives it less weight in the balance of de- 
mocracy than any other. That being the case, we must recog- 
nize and act upon this first principle set out in our Declaration 
of Independence that "All men are created equal. They are 
endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. 
Among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 
To secure these rights governments are instituted among men, 
deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed/' 

After one hundred and sixty years science joins hands with 
humanity to ask Americans whether they will accept the chal- 
lenge of those words. 



MY PURPOSE in this book has been to clarify the reader's 
thinking upon the much-vexed and always tenden- 
tiously discussed problem of "race," to set out the facts, 
criticize existing notions, make a suggestion here and there, 
analyze causes, and present the whole to the reader in such a 
way as to encourage him to draw his own conclusions concern- 
ing the kind of solution or solutions that would be most effec- 
tive in solving the "race" problem. 

In the preceding chapters I have carefully discussed and 
set out the "causes" of the "race" problem. It would seem to 
me that an attack upon these causes should suggest itself as 
the most obvious approach to the solution of the problem. If 
we eliminate the causes, we shall also eliminate the effects 
which they produce. 

We saw that the term "race" itself, as it is generally ap- 
plied to man, is scientifically without justification and that 
as commonly used the term corresponds to nothing in reality. 
We saw that the word is predominantly an emotional one, and 
we were able to trace something of its rise and development 
in what has invariably been a background or matrix of strong 
feeling and prejudiced thought. A person lacking an under- 
standing of human nature, or any person for that matter, 
might, in an off-guard moment, be led to say that "in spite of" 
its emotional origins and character the concept of "race" has 
taken firm hold of the cultures of the West. But quite clearly 
it is not "in spite of" but "because of" its emotional history 
and character that the concept of "race" has taken firm hold 
of Western man. It is useless for man to pretend that he is 
the master of reason when he is in fact a creature of emotion. 
As Caldecott wrote: 

Logicians have but ill defin'd 
As rational the human mind, 


Reason, they say, belongs to man, 
But let them prove it if they can. 

Let us frankly face the fact that most people are emotional 
creatures and use their minds mostly in order to support their 
prejudices. "The truth shall make ye free." But most men 
wish neither to know the truth nor to be free. 1 Most men wish 
to know the kind of things that will support them in the cul- 
ture of which they form a part. That is surely readily under- 
standable! They live by what they learn from their culture. 
What teachers in the classroom and instructors in the lecture- 
hall may tell them is, for the majority of men, of little import. 
What matters is what actually goes on in the world. That is 
reality, the only reality, indeed, that most men ever know. A 
culture lives what it believes in, not what it aspires to be. Men 
will fight to the death for what they believe in, but not for 
the ideals which they have unrealistically been told they ought 
to believe in and in which they have no faith. These they will 
combat if they conflict with their own conception of reality. 
For the support of such conceptions men do not generally re- 
quire the sanction of scientifically established fact. Emotions, 
prejudices, and metaphysics are usually quite sufficient. As 
Stephen Spender has remarked, "Very few people in the 
world's history have died for the sake of 'being definite/ think- 
ing clearly, and behaving morally without the background of 
a belief in any metaphysical system." As we have already seen, 
"race" is for most men such a conception of reality. You can- 
not convince a child that there is no such thing, nor can you 
explain the facts to him, however simply and clearly you may 
present them, when outside the classroom, on the street, at 
home, everywhere about him, he sees that "race" is a real 
thing. To make him see that this "real" thing has been arti- 
ficially created would be a simple matter in the hands of a 
good teacher, but whatever she did would at once be undone 
by the world outside the classroom unless conditions outside 

i Fromm, Escape from Freedom; Montagu, "Escape from Freedom," Psy- 
chiatry, V (1942), 122-29. 


the classroom were favorable, which, as we know, the) gen- 
erally are not. 

I would not for this reason lightly regard the teaching of 
the facts about "race" in the schools; on the other hand, I 
recommend such teaching unequivocally and unreservedly. 
But I wish to make it quite clear here that we must not expect 
too much from such attempts at education in the schools, for 
the so-called education received at school is only a small part 
of that larger education which men receive from direct contact 
with the world. It is the world men live in, not the school, and 
what the world teaches that is to them real. What the school 
teaches is unreal and theoretical. The three "r's" are in many 
instances the only concrete things with which it leaves them. 

This is the sad and tragic state to which we have come. The 
dissociation between what is taught in the schools and what 
is taught by real life has become so glaring that the schools 
and all who are associated with them have fallen into some- 
thing very like contempt, since as measured by the standard 
of successful achievement in the "real world" they do not meas- 
ure up at all. "That's all right for a school child," is a common 
saying; or "That's academic." 

It is, or should be, quite obvious, then, that education in 
the schools is not enough; since what is taught in the schools 
is not what men believe, and men will not act upon what they 
do not believe. As the seventeenth century Portuguese philoso- 
pher Francesco Sanchez put it, "ideas taught do not have 
greater power than they receive from those who are taught." 
What, then, must we do in order to persuade men to imple- 
ment the right ideas w r ith the power of their convictions? To 
present to them the right ideas is only half the task; we must 
also provide them with the proper supports for such ideas and 
eliminate the conditions which render the support of such 
ideas difficult. If we can remove those conditions and substi- 
tute others for them, we shall have made possible a substantial 
change in the beliefs of men and in many of the notions upon 
which they customarily act. 

Do we know what those conditions are? I think we do, at 


least a goodly number of them. We have seen that frustration 
and aggression are linked factors which play a very important 
part in preparing the individual personality for "racial" hos- 
tility. But we also saw that neither frustration nor aggression 
lead to "racial" hostility unless the conditions are such as to 
favor such a development. These conditions are always arti- 
ficially constructed in economic, political, and social frame- 
works wherein "racial" hostility can be used to advantage by 
any group within that framework. 

Quite clearly, any culture or part of a culture which finds 
it necessary to create and maintain hostilities between differ- 
ent groups of men instead of encouraging their social devel- 
opment by mutual exchange and cooperation of interests to 
the advantage of all, any culture which does the former and 
not the latter is obviously sick. For the great principle of 
biological as well as of social development is cooperation, not 

We have already seen that modern science has demonstrated 
that there is strong reason to believe that cooperation and al- 
truism, have played more important roles in the evolution of 
animal species, including man, than have the egoistic forces in 
nature. A healthy competition is, I believe, desirable in any so- 
ciety; but it must be a competition, not in the interest alone of 
the individual or his particular group, but in the interest of all 
society, and not only of society as a whole, but of all men 
everywhere. No man can be free until all his fellows are 
free. Those who exploit their society for their own interest, 
whether they are aware of it or not, are working against the 
interest of their society. They produce imbalances, top- 
heaviness, disoperative rather than cooperative conditions. 
Obviously, where self-interest is the dominant motive of the 
individuals in a society, the society will be characterized by a 
fundamental spirit of disorganization. In such a society the 
individual thinks of himself first; of society last. He will so 
order his conduct as to attain his ends as quickly as possible 
without any concern for the consequences to society. If Ne- 
groes, or members of any other ethnic or minority group can 


be utilized, to their disadvantage, in the attainment of those 
ends, there are pitifully few individuals in our culture who 
would hesitate not to use them so the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, the Bill of Rights, the teaching of the churches and 
the schools, and common human decency notwithstanding. 

Who is to blame for this sorry condition? Surely not the 
common manl When he leaves school and goes out into the 
world and attempts to behave like a Christian, he very soon 
discovers that if he persists in the attempt he is likely to suffer 
the fate of Christ. In order to survive, he finds it necessary to 
adapt himself to the conditions of life as he finds them which 
he does. In doing so he fails both himself and his society, for, 
let us ask ourselves, to what is it that we adapt ourselves? 
Without enumerating the unhappy catalogue, we may answer 
at once: to conditions as we find them. We accept and adapt 
ourselves to evil as if it were a good. Is this a failure of nerve, 
of courage? I do not think so. On the other hand, I believe 
that most men accept the world for what it is, believing that 
it is so ordered by some immutable power and that things are 
as they are because that is the way they are, and little, if any- 
thing, can be done to change them. "You can't change human 
nature/* is the common expression of this viewpoint. 

It seems to me that if what I have said is true, then our only 
hope lies in education of the right sort. If we can succeed in 
reorganizing our system of education from top to bottom, 
making our principal purpose the cultivation of human beings 
living in one great cooperative enterprise with other human 
beings, we shall have gone a long way toward achieving the 
new society. 

Our educational systems have not really been educational 
systems at all; they are really systems of instruction. We in- 
struct; we do not educate; and otherwise we leave the individ- 
ual to shift for himself. Instruction in reading, writing, and 
arithmetic do not constitute a sufficient preparation for living 
with complex human beings in a rather complex world. In 
order to live happily and efficiently in such a world it is neces- 
sary to understand not only the nature of human beings but 


how they came to be as we now find them, both culturally and 
physically. Surely, our first and last task in education should 
be to inspire our growing citizens with a full understanding 
and appreciation of humanity; in what it means to be human. 
The facts, the spiritual teachings, and the examples, are all 
ready to our hand. What is to prevent us from weaving them 
into the pattern of the lives which we have in our making? 
School boards, vested interests, and corrupt politicians are 
strong forces in our society; but stronger forces than they have 
been overcome in the past and will be again. 

If a sufficient number of people can be found who are will- 
ing to unite their energies in order to secure the type of edu- 
cation I have suggested for the schools, or if a nation-wide 
movement were organized to secure it, I am confident that 
one of the most effective steps will have been taken toward 
the dissolution of the "race" problem, as well as many other 
problems from which we are at present suffering. I do notice 
that any other solution is feasible. 

The facts of life assume a meaning only when they are re- 
lated to action in living. The meaning of a word lies in the 
action it produces. We can teach children to believe in hu- 
manity, and we can teach them to act upon what they believe. 
We can teach them the truth about the present character of 
our society, and equip them to play their part in improving it, 
instead of subtly priming them to support the status quo. 

It is futile to assert that every man lives in the type of so- 
ciety he deserves. The fact is that most men have little to do 
with the type of society in which they live. They are brought 
up in it and generally accept it unquestioningly. They may 
suffer to some extent themselves and be the cause of suffering 
in others; but they accept this kind of suffering as inevitable 
in the nature of things. Their social consciousnesses are prac- 
tically nonexistent. 

How, then, under such conditions, can we ever hope to 
solve such a problem as the "race" problem? Obviously, by 
altering those conditions to such an extent as to produce a 
profound awareness in every man of his proper place in so- 


ciety, to make him aware of the fact that he must become an 
active, not a passive, instrument in the government of his 
society and that government can be, and must be, for the 
benefit of all the people without discrimination of color, class, 
or creed. 

One cannot teach people these things merely by saying 
them; they can only be made a part of an attitude of mind if 
they are understood at an early age as part of a whole in- 
tegrated system of education in humanity. 

To teach children the facts about the meaning of the many 
varieties of mankind is alone insufficient; as I have said, such 
teaching can achieve very little, unless it becomes part of a 
planned, integrated, complete experience in the meaning and 
significance of humanity. 

As far as I am aware, no concerted effort has ever been 
made in any school to teach children generally to become 
human beings. It is time we commenced to do so. We must 
bring about a revolution in our educational system, a peaceful 
revolution in the interests of peaceful and humane living. I 
suggest that this revolution can best be brought about by the 
educators themselves. It is the educators of our young who 
are the true unacknowledged legislators of the world. It is 
they who produce in the average adult the trained incapacity 
for humane living, and it is they who are capable of making 
truly humane citizens of the world. The opportunity beckons 
to them to bring into existence, by their teaching, a new world 
of humanity. Surely it is unnecessary for our educators to 
wait until they are forced into action by the pressure of public 
opinion. Surely it is the task of our educators to create the 
public of the future, rather than to have the public of the past 
create the educators of the future. It has been calculated that 
it costs $125,000 to kill a man in this war; we could make an 
almost perfect human being for considerably less. Would it 
not be worth trying? 

How shall we try? What are the specifications in the blue- 
print for action? What the educators must do is, I think, ob- 
vious: they must become aware of their strategic advantage, 


and they must, in cooperation, take it upon themselves to re- 
organize the education of the young along the lines I have in- 
dicated; to teach humanity first and to regard all other educa- 
tion as subsidiary to this. 

To assist in bringing this desirable end about, we others 
must organize a league for the reform of education. Such a 
league should at first be on a national scale, with offices in 
every large city and a central headquarters in Washington. 
Later on, its activities should be extended to an international 
scale. There will be no difficulty about that. The details of 
the program for action should be drawn up by the founders of 
the league in democratic session. Every person living in the 
United States and its possessions should be invited to become 
a member. Properly organized, such a league can become an 
enormous power for good. By its means could be secured what 
we have thus far failed to secure: Peace on earth, goodwill 
unto all men. 

A very big step in this direction would be the organization 
of the schools, the children, and the parents for the develop- 
ment of mutual understanding between the members of vari- 
ous groups such as that initiated at Springfield, Mass., in 1939. 
The plan is described in the following appendix. Readers of 
this book can make an immediate contribution toward se- 
curing better ethnic relations by actively interesting their own 
communities in such a plan. 

Appendix A 




' 'RACISM" is A DISEASE. It is a malfunctioning of the mind which 
endangers human relations, a disease due to the infection of the 
mind by false ideas concerning the status of other groups of human 
beings. In much the same way as organs become diseased as the 
result of the action of germs, so minds become diseased as the re- 
sult of the action of wrong ideas. In August, 1939, the National 
Conference of Christians and Jews, having carefully studied the 
disease, concluded that it was impossible to eradicate "race" preju- 
dice by counter-propaganda. What, clearly, was required, was the 
development of an immunity to the disease. Such immunity could, 
it was felt, best be secured in a systematic manner by providing 
children and adults with the necessary protective education. It 
was suggested to the Conference that it induce the school system 
of some representative community to develop educational means 
for immunizing children and adults against "racism." 

In October, 1939, the Conference proposed to Dr. John Granrud, 
Superintendent of Schools in Springfield, Mass., that his school 
system should be the first to try the experiment. With great fore- 
sight and sympathetic understanding Dr. Granrud immediately 
accepted this suggestion and appointed a committee of nine, rep- 
resenting all educational levels in the school system, including 
supervisors, principals, and classroom teachers, to study the prob- 
lems involved in organizing the program. A thorough study, last- 
ing some six months, of the problems involved, led the committee 
to the following conclusions: 

1. Many of the prejudices, biases, and undemocratic attitudes 
evident among the children are reflections of forces and factors 
outside the school, such as the home, the street, the club, and some- 
times even the church. The program for democracy should not, 
therefore, be designed solely for the children in the schools, but 
should reach the parents and the adult world which condition 
the child's environment and thinking. 

2. One of the major weaknesses of the previous attempts to in- 
culcate democratic ideas is the fact that the teaching has been too 
idealized. Youngsters were given to understand that we in this 


country had already achieved a perfect democracy. This teaching 
and idealization did not coincide with the realities of the young- 
sters' experiences. They soon became disillusioned, because their 
own observations invalidated the idealizations. Children were 
taught, for example, that this is a land of equal opportunity and 
that in this country people are not discriminated against because 
of race, religion, or creed. But the Negro girl knew very well that 
even though she was an excellent stenographer there was little 
possibility of securing a position as a stenographer; and the boy 
with a foreign-sounding name knew that his chances for securing 
a good position were not so good as those of his classmates who 
had the right kind of American name. The committee decided, 
therefore, that issues should be faced squarely; that, while a posi- 
tive and affirmative position on democratic ideals would be taken, 
it should be emphasized that we had not yet achieved the perfect 
democracy which is our goal; that the weaknesses in our democratic 
processes should be pointed out, and that how these weaknesses 
could be corrected and how our democratic processes could be 
strengthened should be discussed realistically. 

3. In order to eradicate blind and intolerant attitudes it is 
imperative that pupils understand all the constituent elements 
of our population, the historical backgrounds of these elements, 
and their contributions to American life. 

4. Finally, it is essential that democratic ideals be presented to 
students in a dynamic fashion calculated to fire their enthusiasm 
and to inspire their devotion to democracy as the best means of 
achieving the good life for all our people. 1 

Here, then, were some practical aids by which to frame the 
program. The program was, from the outset, based on the assump- 
tion that "race" prejudice can be prevented and that mass phobias, 
manias, and hysterias infectious diseases of the mind can be 
controlled as infectious diseases of the body have been controlled. 

The method followed is much the same as that followed in the 
control of any disease. The plan is to apply the same scientific- 
humane principles which in a lifetime have all but conquered 
smallpox and typhoid, which since 1900 have reduced the deaths 
from tuberculosis from 200 per 100,000 to less than 40. Once the 
germ has been isolated, a mass education campaign teaches not 
only the terrible cost of the plague but also the breeding places of 
the germs and the scientific way of eliminating them. 

Various tests were applied to the children in the Springfield 
public schools in order to determine the distribution of the breed- 

i Halligan, "A Community's Total War against Prejudice," /. Educ. Social., 
XVI (1943), 374-So. 


ing places of these germs, to determine the attitudes of the children 
toward Jews, Negroes, the foreign-born, and various religious 
groups. The tests revealed the fact that most of the prejudiced at- 
titudes of children come from parents or other adults and from 
adult institutions. Special emphasis has therefore been placed on 
reaching the grown-ups. 

Before the program was put into operation the children were 
also given a number of objective-type tests, especially constructed 
for the purpose, for "open-mindedness," "ability to distinguish 
between fact and opinion," "ability to analyze conflicting state- 
ments," "critical evaluation," and "support of generalizations/' 
The data thus obtained was helpful in formulating the unit study 
in public opinion and how it is influenced, drawn up under the 
expert guidance of Dr. Clyde R. Miller, Associate Professor of 
Education at Teachers College, Columbia University; it also pro- 
vided a basis by means of which the progress of the children could 
be measured. Following the public opinion unit study, the teachers 
discuss with children and adults how public opinion is formed, 
how to distinguish fact from opinion, what prejudices are, how 
they are developed, and how to deal with them and avoid them. 

The teaching and activities are adapted to every level in the 
school system, and the emphasis throughout is upon cooperation, 
upon doing things together, on living and learning together. 


In order to carry out this program two directing bodies were set 
up; one to function in the schools, called the Committee on Educa- 
tion for Democracy. This committee is appointed by the Superin- 
tendent of Schools and is representative of all educational levels 
in the schools, including supervisors, principals, and classroom 
teachers. The task of this committee is to study and advise on the 
problems involved in the organization and functioning of the 
program in the schools. 

The other is a community committee for directing the com- 
munity-wide program. It is broadly representative. Its member- 
ship includes leading clergymen of various faiths, representatives 
of different organizations in the business community, the pub- 
lishers of the newspapers, labor leaders, representatives of the 
social agencies, spokesmen of young people's organizations, the 
wife of a Negro minister, leading figures in civic and club activities, 
the Superintendent of Schools, and the Director of Adult Educa- 
tion, who serves as secretary. 



As the pupil advances through the school system, he is first given 
in the elementary grades an understanding of "living and working 
together," and he develops from the outset a comprehension of 
some of the fundamental concepts of democracy. Each child is 
encouraged to make his contribution to the group. He learns what 
other peoples have contributed to our civilization, and he gets a 
first sense of the interdependence of nations. 

When he reaches the junior high school level, he is given an 
opportunity to develop an appreciation of the rich heritage of 
America. He is encouraged to build a sympathetic attitude toward 
all racial and nationality groups through an understanding of 
their cultural patterns. Specifically, he obtains knowledge of the 
contributions of the various nationalities to the growth not only 
of the United States but also of Springfield. 

Senior high school students are provided with opportunities for 
self-government; they analyze current problems, studying both the 
strengths and the weaknesses of our democratic processes in order 
to determine how the latter can be corrected and democracy 
strengthened. They learn how to analyze and evaluate their own 
prejudices and biases and how to reach conclusions objectively. 

Tests given at the end of each year have shown substantial 
progress at all levels in the school system. 


The community sponsors free public forums in school buildings 
and has introduced controversial subjects, competent authorities 
taking opposing positions. A film forum series covers many topics, 
including the problems of "racial," religious, and economic groups. 
The discussions following the films are led by experts and are 
focused on local problems. Average attendance of public forums 
is 1,000. A series of ten "film forums" drew an average attendance 
of 800. 

The New England type of "town meeting" was revived when 
nonpartisan political meetings were sponsored in public school 
buildings in each of the wards. Opposing candidates speak from 
the same platform. People who haven't been in a school building 
for years renew their contact with the school system. One political 
rally drew an audience of 5,000. 



In cooperation with the Council of Social Agencies an investiga- 
tion of the conditions of domestic workers employed in private 
homes was undertaken and standards for fair working conditions 
in household employment were established. Representatives of 
all the major women's clubs in the city subscribed to these stand- 
ards. In cooperation with the Council an investigation of the 
social and economic conditions of the Negro population in Spring- 
field has been undertaken, with a view to improving those condi- 
tions. Through the School Placement Bureau slow but steady 
progress has been made in breaking down discrimination 
in employment. Training of Negroes for skilled occupations has 
been developed, and there are now three Negro teachers in the 
school system of Springfield, all appointments being made strictly 
on the basis of merit. 


Special training courses for teachers and community leaders are 
given at Springfield College, with emphasis upon contemporary 
problems and the new tasks they impose on education. 

Through newspapers, radio, meetings of all sorts, or civic groups, 
and through study courses given in parent-teacher meetings, the 
work is carried to the entire community. 


Springfield, with a population of 150,000, is an average Ameri- 
can city. About 40 percent of the residents are of old Yankee stock, 
and the rest are largely of Russian, Polish, Greek, Italian, Irish, 
and French-Canadian extraction, with the usual Jewish and Negro 
minority groups. Some 60 percent are Roman Catholic. 

At the time the plan was put into operation "conflicts and ten- 
sions in Springfield were typical of those in other communities, 
Coughlinites were fairly strong. Anti-Semitism was fairly pro- 
nounced. Opportunities for Negroes were probably fewer than 
in most similar communities/' 2 

Furthermore, Springfield is a rather conservative community 
and had to be introduced gradually to the changes in the system. 
Nevertheless, Springfield had several advantages. It enjoyed two 
exceptionally fine civic-spirited newspapers. Its school system was 
known for its excellence, and its superintendent, Dr. Granrud, fol- 

2 Miller, "Community Wages Total War on Prejudice," The Nation's 
Schools, XXXIII (1944), 16-18. 


lowed a course of practical democracy in appointing teachers. The 
school personnel was therefore representative of all groups, and 
the people had confidence in their schools. 

The community has cooperated with the schools in Springfield 
to make the program a success. In this instance it was the teachers 
who led the community, but without the encouragement, by co- 
operation, of the community the efforts of the schools could scarcely 
have succeeded as well as they have. 

The children have made very substantial progress in learning to 
think critically, and a large proportion have made considerable 
progress toward overcoming their prejudices as a result of the 
self-analysis and open discussion conducted in class. Mutual un- 
derstanding of one another has been brought to many adults 
through the Adult Educational program. But Springfield is not 
yet Utopia. "We have only made a start in the great task before 
us," Dr. Granrud has said. "But I am profoundly convinced that 
significant progress has already been achieved, and as our experi- 
ence and skill grow, even greater advances will be made in develop- 
ing the type of citizenry which will not only strive toward but 
which will achieve greater promise implicit in the democratic 

The experiment in education for democracy which has been so 
successfully initiated and tried in Springfield will, it is hoped, be 
tried in hundreds of other communities throughout the United 
States. Already the representatives of the school systems of a num- 
ber of large cities have the Springfield Plan under study for adop- 
tion in their own school systems. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, put the 
plan into action in January, 1944. 

Each community will, of course, adapt the plan to meet its own 
peculiar conditions. Every community which has undertaken to 
carry out the plan will willingly assist other communities to launch 
it successfully in their own cities. 

There can be little doubt that the Springfield Plan is the most 
promising practical scheme thus far developed for the combating 
of "race" prejudice and the education of Americans for a living 
democracy. Neither law nor regulation can eliminate "racial" or 
religious discrimination. Such prejudices must be prevented from 
developing. To eradicate the infection, we must begin in the nurs- 
eries, on the playgrounds, and in the schools. This Springfield has 
done. Its example must be widely imitated, not alone in the United 
States, but throughout the world wherever people of different 
physical types or religious faiths meet. In this way man's most 
dangerous myth, the fallacy of "race," can be overcome and rele- 
gated to the refuse heap of man's past follies. 

Appendix B 


As A PRACTICAL ILLUSTRATION of the manner in which the 
public may be educated towards a better understanding of ethnic 
relations, may be cited the pioneering example of the Cranbrook 
Institute of Science, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. 

Under the supervision of its Director, Dr. Robert T. Hatt, the 
Cranbrook Institute of Science has prepared an exhibit giving 
visual presentation of the significant findings concerning ethnic 
facts. The exhibit deals broadly with the Negroid, White, and 
Mongoloid groups and their cultures. By dispelling myths and cor- 
recting fallacies the purpose of the exhibit is to create better un- 
derstanding among men. 

A photo-mural replica has been prepared of twenty-two of the 
exhibits suitable for display in museums, libraries, high schools, 
intermediate schools, churches, clubs, factories, and in similar 
places. In this form the exhibit consists of 34 panels, 48 inches 
high, varying from 16 to 66 inches wide, ready for immediate hang- 
ing or nailing. 

The list of exhibits is as follows: (i) All Mankind Is One Family; 
(2) Our World Shrinks; (3) What Is Race? (4) Early Concepts of 
Race; (5) Physical Characters of Human Races; (6) Why Are There 
Different Races? (7) No Race Is Mentally Superior; (8) No Race 
Is Most Primitive; (9) Nationalities Are Not Races; (10) Culture 
Is Not Inborn; (11) Art Forms Define Culture?, yet Transcend 
Racial Bounds; (12) All Races Enrich Architecture; (13) Poetry 
Is Universal; (14) The Foods we Cultivate Are a Gift from All 
Peoples; (15) Our Inventions Have Come from Many Races; (16) 
Love of War Is Taught; (17) Negroes as an Integral Part of Our 
Culture; (18) Composition of the American Negro; (19) The Jews 
Are Not a Race; (20) Who Are the Aryans? (21) Blood Groups; (22) 
Let Us Live at Peace. 

This excellent exhibit though intended for display to persons 
of high school age and over, has been successfully utilized down 
to the third grade level. 

Exhibits of this kind should form a permanent part of the educa- 


tional equipment of every school and museum in the land. They 
should be utilized not only as the basis for special courses in the 
school curriculum, but should be brought into the teaching of 
such subjects as literature, geography, and history. 

Appendix C 


AT THE PRESENT TIME some thirty states in the Union legally 
forbid "interracial marriage." In almost all these states miscegena- 
tion is a felony; in many, a crime. In the following table, based 
upon the data supplied in Vernier's American Family Laws, Vol. 
I, Section 44, 1931, and the 1938 Supplement, the statutes and 
other relevant data on the books of these states are given in alpha- 
betic order. Vernier's remarks upon the data listed in this table 
provide a useful analysis. He writes: 

''The state statutes prohibiting marriage because of race dif- 
ferences more nearly follow discernible geographic lines than any 
other type of marriage regulation. This fact is not surprising. The 
chief basis of such legislation is doubtless the social problem raised 
by the presence of minority racial groups, and by the existence 
of a varying degree of race prejudice. In states where the racial 
minority is large, the social problem and the prejudice are apt to 
be of proportionate importance. Other factors, such as the social 
and economic history and development of a state, also exert a 
definite influence in creating racial prejudice and discrimination, 
one logical result of which is legislation prohibiting miscegena- 

"A glance at the present statutory situation will reveal rather 
definite geographic lines of legislation. Of the thirty states which 
prohibit interracial marriages, sixteen may be designated as South- 
ern or 'border' states, where the negro problem is, generally speak- 
ing, most serious, owing to the presence of negroes in large num- 
bers. Only one New England or North Atlantic state, Delaware, 
has such legislation and, with the exception of Indiana, all the 
other states prohibiting such marriages are west of the Mississippi. 
Their statutes are not explained by the presence of any considera- 
ble number of negroes or of any social or economic problems re- 
sulting therefrom. But racial prejudice, social or ethnological con- 
siderations, or the dogma of white superiority, have resulted in the 
prohibition of inter-racial marriages. 

"The states west of the Mississippi, and especially those on the 
Pacific slope, are almost the sole authors of legislation prohibiting 
the intermarriage of white persons with those of the Mongolian 


race. The only states east of the Mississippi, having such legisla- 
tion are Georgia, Mississippi and Virginia. In the case of the Far 
Western states in particular, the legislation is motivated by the 
presence of Mongolians in sufficiently large number to interfere 
seriously with the social and economic structure, as well as by a 
seemingly inherent prejudice against, and a vigorous opposition to 
their intermarriage with whites. In the states of the Middle West, 
South, and East the problem is practically non-existent and it is 
therefore easy to understand why intermarriage is not prohibited. 

"The peculiarly geographic distribution of statutes prohibiting 
racial intermarriage forces one to conclude (all logical justification 
to the contrary, notwithstanding) that such legislation is not based 
primarily upon physiological, psychological, or other scientific 
bases, but is for the most part the product of local prejudice and 
of local effort to protect the social and economic standards of the 
white race." x 

That such laws contravene the provisions of Article i, Section 
10, of the Constitution 2 and the provisions of the Fourteenth 
Amendment 3 is a fact which has not prevented the state courts 
from upholding those laws. The Supreme Court has never handed 
down a decision relating to them. 4 

1 Vernier, American Family Laws, Vol. I, Section 44, pp. 204-9; 1938 Supple- 
ment, pp. 24-25. 

2 "No State shall . . pass any Law impairing the obligation of Contracts." 
a "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the 

jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein 
they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the 
privileges- or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State 
deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; 
nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the 

* For a discussion of this subject see Wittenberg, "Miscegenation," in En- 
cyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, V, 531-34. 



State and Citation 

Const., sec. 102; 
C. 1923, sees. 


R.C. 1928, sec. 
2166; amd. Sess. 
L. 1931, Ch. 17, 
p. 27 



Ragland, C.C. 
1929, sees. 60, 69; 
C.C. 1937; Lake, 
sec. 60 


Comp. L. 1921; 
G.S., sec. 5548 


R.C. L. 1915, sec. 
2992; amd. by 
Sess. L. 1921, p. 


Const., art. 16, 
sec. 24; R.G.S. 
1920, sees. 3938- 
41, 3944, 54*9- 


Ethnic Groups 
Prohibited from 
Marrying Whites 

Status of such 

"Negro or descendant Each party guilty of 
of a negro to the third a felony (Const.) 
generation inclusive, 
though one ancestor 
of each generation was 
a white person" 

"Negroes, Mongoli- "Null and void" 
ans, Indians, Hindus, 
or members of the 
Malay race" 

"Negroes and Mulat- "Illegal and void" 

"Negroes, Mongoli- "Illegal and void" 
ans, Mulattoes, or 
members of the Malay 

"Negroes or Mulat- "Absolutely void" 

"Negro or Mulatto." "Void" 

"Any negro" (person "Utterly null and 
having one-eighth or void" 
more of negro blood) 



State and Citation 

C. 1926, C.C., sec. 
2941; Supp. 1930, 
sees. 2177-2177 


Comp. St. 1919, 

sec. 4596, amd. 

by Sess. L. 1921, 
P- 291 


Burns, Ann. St. 
1926, sees. 2880, 
9862, 9863 


Carroll, St. 1922, 
sees. 2097, 2144 


C.C., sees, 94-95; 
1926 Supp. to 
Marr, Ann. R.S., 
pp. 396, 1102 


Bagby, Ann. C. 
1924, art. 27, sees. 

Ethnic Groups 
Prohibited from 
Marrying Whites 

"Persons of African 
descent"; "All ne- 
groes, mulattoes, mes- 
tizos, and their de- 
scendants, having any 
ascertainable trace of 
either negro or Afri- 
can, West Indian or 
Asiatic Indian, blood 
in their veins"; Mon- 
golians l 

"Mongolians, negroes, 
or Mulattoes" 

"Persons having one- 
eighth or more of 
negro blood" 

"Negro or Mulatto" 

"Persons of color"; in- 
termarriage of Indians 
and blacks prohibited 

"Negro, or person of 
Negro descent to the 
third generation in- 

Status of such 

"Null and void"; 
"utterly void" 

"Illegal and void" 

"Absolutely void 
without any legal 

"Prohibited and de- 
clared void" 

Have "no effect" 
and are "null and 

"Void and a felony" 

i In 1927 C. 1926, Supp. 1930, sees., 2177-2177 (20) Georgia enacted an elab- 
orate statute for the regulation of miscegenetic marriages, the registration of 
persons of color, issuance of licences to them, etc. This statute forbids the 
marriage of a white person to anyone but a white person, and defines a 
"white person"' as including "only persons of the white or Caucasian race who 
have no ascertainable trace of either negro, African, West Indian, Asiatic 
Indian, Mongolian, Japanese, or Chinese blood in their veins." 



State and Citation 

Ethnic Groups 
Prohibited from 
Marrying Whites 

358, 365 1 amd. L. elusive, or a member 
1935, ch. 60, p. of the Malay race" 


Const., sec. 263; 
C. 1930, sees, 
1103, 2361 


R.S. 1929, sees. 



R.C. 1921, sees. 


Comp. St. 
sec. 1491 



Comp. L. 1929, 
sees. 10197-98 


Const., art. XIV. 
sec. 8; Consol. St. 
1919, sees. 2495, 


Comp. L. 1913, 
sees. 9582-83, 

"Negro or mulatto or 
Mongolian," or per- 
son having one-eighth 
or more of negro or 
Mongolian blood 

"Persons having one- 
eighth part or more 
negro blood"; "Mon- 

"Negro or a person of 
negro blood or in part 
negro"; "Chinese per- 
son"; "Japanese per- 

"Person having one- 
eighth or more negro, 
Japanese or Chinese 

"Any person of the 
Ethiopian or black 
race, Malay or brown 
race, or Mongolian or 
yellow race" 

"Negro or Indian"; 
"or person of negro or 
Indian descent to the 
third generation in- 

"Negro" (persons hav- 
ing one-eighth or 
more of Negro blood) 

Status of such 



"Prohibited and de- 
clared absolutely 

"Utterly null and 


"Unlawful and a 
gross misdemean- 


"Utterly null and 



State and Citation 

Comp. St. 1921, 
sees. 7499-7 500 


C. 1930, sees. 6 
(902), 14(840), 14 
(840' 33 ( 1Q 2) 


Const. Art. Ill, 
sec. 33; C. 1922, 
Dr. L., sec. 378; 
C.C., sec. 5536 


Comp. L. 1929, 
sees. 128-30 


Const., art XI, 
sec. 14; 'Thomp- 
son, Shannon's 
C. 1917* sees. 


Baldwin, Com- 
plete St. 1925, 
C.C., sec. 4607; 
P.C., sees. 492-94 


Comp. L. 1927, 
sec. 2967 


C. 1930, sees. 
4540, 4546, 5087, 

Ethnic Groups 
Prohibited from 
Marrying Whites 

"Any person of Afri- 
can descent" 

"Any negro, Chinese, 
or any person having 
one-fourth or more ne- 
gro, Chinese, or Kan- 
aka blood, or more 
than one-half Indian 

"An Indian, or ne- 
gro," or any Mulatto, 
mestizo, or half-breed 

"Any person belong- 
ing to the African, Co- 
rean, Malayan, or 
Mongolian race" 

"Africans or the de- 
scendants of Africans" 
to the third genera- 
tion inclusive" 

Status of such 

"Unlawful and pro- 

and void" 


"Utterly null and 
void and of no ef- 

"Declared to be 
null and void from 
the beginning" 

"Null and void" 


or Mongo- "Null and void" 

"Negro or Mongo- 

"Colored persons"; 
having other than 
Caucasian blood in 
more than the six- 
teenth degree 

"Prohibited and 
declared void" 

"Absolutely void 
without any decree 
of divorce or other 
legal process" 



State and Citation 

Barnes, Ann. C. 
1923, ch. 64, sec. 
i; ch. 149, sec. 8 


Ethnic Groups 
Prohibited from 
Marrying Whites 


Status of such 

"Void from the 
time they are so de- 
clared by a decree 
of divorce or nul- 

"Negroes, mulattoes, "Illegal and void" 

Comp. St. 1920, Mongolians, or Ma- 

secs. 4972-73 


Appendix D 


A VALUABLE AID in teaching and in leading discussion groups, suit- 
able for audiences of almost every kind, is a 35 mm. film strip 
entitled "We Are All Brothers; What Do You Know about Race?" 
This film strip is based on the pamphlet The Races of Mankind 
by Dr. Ruth Benedict and Dr. Gene Weltfish and is obtainable 
from New York University Film Library, Washington Square 
South, New York 12, N.Y., for $1.15, postpaid. 

The film strip consists of 60 frames which can be shown on any 
35 mm. single frame silent film strip projector. Showing the film 
usually requires about thirty minutes. This includes an excellent 
commentary, which is supplied without additional charge to- 
gether with directions for the use of the film. 

Produced by New Tools for Learning (New York), in coopera- 
tion with the Public Affairs Committee, Inc., and New York Uni- 
versity Film Library, "We Are All Brothers" contains neither new 
nor startling material, but builds on the generally known common 
things. Its aim is to give new perspective where powers of observa- 
tion have been blunted by prejudice and ignorance, and it is 
designed to stimulate discussion and bring out questions. 

This film strip, which it is to be hoped is but the forerunner 
of many others, is already being widely used in schools and discus- 
sion groups, with considerable success. 

There is great need for full-length films dealing with the many 
and varied aspects of "race" along the lines of Pare Lorentz's "The 
River" and "The Plough That Broke the Plains." 

A somewhat longer film strip, "Forward All Together," written 
and produced by William arid Dorothea Gary, with accompany- 
ing speech notes, is obtainable from The Council against Intol- 
erance in America, 17 East 4sd Street, New York 17, N.Y., for 
$2.50, postpaid. 


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(1903), 14-15. 
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Macmillan, 1937. 
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- "Where Angels Fear to Tread: a Contribution from General 
Sociology to Human Ethics." Science, XCVII (1943), 518-25. 

Anastasi, Anne. Differential Psychology. New York, Macmillan, 

Andrews, Charles F. "Racial Influences/' in The Causes of War 

(edited by Arthur Porritt), New York, Macmillan, 1932, pp. 

Angel, John L. "Report on Skeletons Excavated at Olynthus," in 

David M. Robinson, Excavations at Olynthus, Pt. XI, Necrolyn- 

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more, Johns Hopkins Press, 1942, pp. 211-40. 

- "A Racial Analysis of the Ancient Greeks." American Journal 
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Arendt, Hannah. "Race-Thinking before Racism." Review of Poli- 

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Baker, Emily V. "Do We Teach Racial Intolerance?" Historical 

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[Bernier, Francois], "Nouvelle division de la terre, par les difter- 
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Berry, Brewton. "The Concept of Race in Sociology Textbooks/' 
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Bilden, Ruediger. "Racial Mixture in Latin America with Spe- 
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Blumenbach, Johann F. Anthropological Treatises; translated by 
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"Class Consciousness and Race Prejudice/' Christian Regis- 
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"History and Science in Anthropology." American Anthro- 
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The Mind of Primitive Man. New York, Macmillan, 1938. 

"Race." Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, New York, Mac- 
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"Race and Progress/' Science, LXXIV (1931), 1-8. 

Race, Language and Culture. New York, Macmillan, 1940. 

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Aberdeen University, Rectorial Ad- 
dress, 158 

Aboriginal-white crosses, noff. 

Achievement, diversity the true basis 
of collective, 96 

Adachi, Buntaro, 212 

Adult education for democracy and 
cooperation, 256 

Africa, one of probable birthplaces of 
ancestors of man, 50; kingdoms, 151 

Aggressiveness, ix; race prejudice a 
means of releasing, 83, 247; can be 
directed towards fellowship and mu- 
tual aid, 84 f.; generated in child- 
hood, 90; society must provide out- 
lets, 93 

Agricultural stage of development, 
war came into being only after, 173 

Alabama capitalists keep race hate 
alive, 82*1 

Albinos, pigmentless tissues, 50 

Allee, W. C., quoted, 175, 176 

Altruism, spirit of, more natural to 
man than antagonism, 175 

Amaxosa, size of brain, 59, 199 

America, see United States 

American colonial stock, disappear- 
ance of, 100; a mixed lot, 101 

American Dilemma . . . An (Myr- 
dal) 2on 

American Family Laws (Vernier), 261 

American temperament or psychology, 


Animal geneticists, hybrids produced 
by, 105 

Animals, biologists create new sub- 
races among lower, 4; physical dif- 
ferences in geographical and genetic 
races, 5; basic processes in evolution 
of all forms, 39; color of hair, 47, 
49; of skin, 50; no group static and 
immutable, 75; hybrids, 128; killing 
neither necessary nor natural, 166; 
fear not instinctive, 168; will not 
war upon own species, 171; see also 
Apes; Dogs 

domesticated: production of from 

wild types, 42; selected strains de- 
veloped, 47; means by which bio- 
logical changes are produced, 74; 
see also Dogs 

Antagonism, modern group, 9; "natu- 
ral antagonisms," 174 

Anthropologists, need to deal frankly 
with traditional concept of race, xii; 
failure to classify human groups, 4, 
31, 46; inversion of genetic approach 
to problem of varieties of mankind, 
12; attention to problems of racial 
divergence and distribution, 21; 
older school not clear as to meaning 
of term "race," 26; how confusion 
upon subject has come about, 27- 
36; approach to study of relation- 
ships, 32; must recognize changes in 
treatment of racial classification, 36 

Anti-poll-tax bill, South's fight to de- 
feat, 82n 

Apes, 163, color of skin, 3911, 50; physi- 
cal characters of anthropoid, com- 
pared with those of Negro, 52; jaw, 

Archaic white or Australoid stock or 
division of mankind, 5 

Aristotle, 187; conception of species, 
28; on Nature, 161 

Aryans, 7, 79; all not so-called de- 
prived of civil rights, 237 

Asdell, S. A., quoted, 14371 

Ashkcnazim, 222 

Asia, eastern: probable birthplace of 
ancestors of man, 50 

Ass, 106 

Australian aboriginal, 152, 179 

Australian-white crosses, 111-14 

Australoid stock, see Archaic white 

Babylonian Empire, 151 

Bacon, Francis, 164 

Barnes, I., 207 

Bastaards, hybrid vigor, 126; hair, 209 

Bean, R. Bennett, 197 

Behavior, motives involved, 134 

Benedict, Ruth, xii; and Gene Welt- 
fish, 10972, 140; film strip based on 
pamphlet of, 268 

Bergson, Henri, 160 

Bernhardi, F. A. J. von, 178; protest 
against aspirations for peace, 156; 
"biologically just decision" of war, 
*57 ! 59l on Nature, 160 

Biological justification of war, 157 ff. 


Biological urges culturally controlled, 

Biologists urge that term "race" be 
dropped, 68 

Biology, facts of, 46-61; no justifica- 
tion for use of old concept of race 
in field of, 73; biological develop- 
ment influenced by social factors, 

Birth rate, effect of inbreeding on, 
100, 103 

Black stock, 5; see also Negroes 

Blood, and "race," 180-91; role of con- 
cept of in Western culture, 181; and 
social status, 184; not a transmit- 
ter of hereditary characters, 186; 
groups, 188; of all human beings 
identical, 188; of Negroes segregated 
for purposes of blood transfusion, 


Blood group genes, mutation of, 34; 
distributions, 43 

"Blood-relationship," term, 185 

"Blood royal," term, 183 

"Blue-blood," term, 183 

Blumenbach, J. F., 28, 4471; on essen- 
tial unity of mankind, 12, 15; 
quoted, 215 

Boas, Franz, xii, 77, 115; quoted, 137, 
i53> 234 

Body odor, 211 ff. 

Bonger, W. A., quoted, 24 

Bougainville, L. A. de, 18 

Boyd, William, xiv 

Brain, size as related to mental capac- 
ity, 54, 59; coordinates nervous ac- 
tivities according to educative pat- 
tern offered, 55; culture organizes, 
59; of Negro, 194, 199; no racial or 
inferiority signs in human, 198; size 
and weight have little to do with 
functional capacities, 199 

Brazil, Negro-white crosses, 127 

Breeding, selective, as understood by 
eugenists, 144; see also Animals, do- 
mesticated; Eugenics; Heredity; Hy- 
bridization; Inbreeding; Outbreed- 
ing; Race mixture 

Britons, cultural development at time 
of Roman conquest, 58, 150; con- 
tacts with peoples of Europe, 152 

Brown, W. O., quoted, 99 

Bryce, James, quoted, i, 8; on self- 
conscious racial feeling, 8; on exag- 

geration of racial variety and na- 
tional pretentions, 25 

Buffon, G. L. L., used term "race" in 
general sense, 18; term "race" taken 
over from, 18, 20, 28 

Bulldog, 125 

Buxton, I. H. D., quoted, 42*1 

Caldecott, quoted, 244 

Caldwell, W. E., and H. C. Moloy, 

California, race prejudice, 79, 85; 
factors involved, 86 

Cancer of the skin reduced by hy- 
bridization, 112 

Carmelites, see Neanderthal man 

Caste, and race, 67 ff., 75; defined, 68; 
problem entirely a social one, 73 

Castle, W. E., 119; quoted, 101, 120, 

'25, 133 

Cats, 47; see also Animals, domes- 

Cattalo, 129 

Caucasoid or white stock or division 
of mankind, 5 

Cephalic index variable among Jews,' 
224, 225; percentage distribution, 

Chamberlain, H. S., 76, 170 

Characteristics, human-genetic basis 
of few known, 34; inheritance of 
separate traits, not complexes, had 
to be studied, 41 

Characters, metrical and nonmetrical 
relating to varieties of man, 37; new 
genetic combinations, 39; of adap- 
tive value, 51 

Children, emotionally conditioned to 
belief in "race" differences, 64; must 
be taught facts which anthropology 
has made available, 66; rating of 
Negro, in Los Angeles schools, 
logn; aboriginal, compared with 
European, 113; should be given 
sympathetic understanding of dif- 
ferent ethnic groups and cultures, 
140; education for democracy ' and 
cooperation, 253-58; teaching too 
idealized, 253; soon disillusioned, 
254; tests to determine attitudes of, 
toward various ethnic and reli- 
gious groups, 255 

Chimpanzee, 52 

Chinese, prejudice against, 79 



Chinese-white crosses, 127!!. 

Christians, persecution in pagan 
Rome, 81 

Cipriani, Lidio, quoted, 196 

Civilization, war an artificial product 
of, 172; conditions peculiar to in- 
dustrial, 174, man's inhuman tend- 
ency to exploit his fellow man, 178 

Clark, E., and R. H. Lhamon, 214 

Classes, biology and stratification 
patrilineally determined, 69 

Classification of races, 3; failure of 
anthropological attempts at, 4, 31, 
46; Blumenbach's attempt, 12; at- 
tempts to base on morphological 
characters misleading, 13; Buffon's, 
18; morphological characters which 
anthropologists have relied upon, 
35; changes in treatment, 36; sys- 
tems are fictional devices, 164 

Class prejudice, 69 

Cobb, W. M., 202, 205 

Colonial stock, see American colonial 

Colored peoples, discrimination in 
America against, 7; see also Race 
prejudice; and under names of col- 
ored peoples, eg., Negroes 

Communists, help given to backward 
races, Son; see also Russia 

Complexes of characteristics, inherit- 
ance of, 41 

Conklin, E. G., xii; quoted, 94, 135, 

Consanguinity, 42*1; term, 185 

Constitution, state laws that contra- 
vene, 262 

Cook, Captain, 18 

Cook, Cecil, quoted, 112 

Coon, C. S., new races and sub-races 
created by, 3 

Cooperation, beginnings, 173; more 
natural than antagonism, 175; role 
in evolution, 175 ff.; the great prin- 
cipal of biological and social devel- 
opment, 247; need to make the 
principal purpose of education, 
248; Springfield community-school 
plan in education for democracy 
and, 253-58 

Cranbrook Institute of Science, 259 

Cranial sutures in Negroes and 
whites, 195, 199 

Crockett, Charis, quoted, 30 

Crossbreeding, see Hybridization; 
Outbreeding; Race mixture 

Cross-cousin marriage, 42n 

Crusade, First: massacre of Jews, 222 

Cuba, Negro- white crosses, 127 

Cultural variables, play part in pro- 
ducing mental differences between 
groups, 57 ff.; part in production of 
what is predicated, 148 

Culture, differences fundamentally of 
a social nature, 137 f.; cultural 
achievement, 137, 147; and "race," 
1 4^-55; a function of experience, 
146, 147; cultural relativity, 150; 
condition for production of cultural 
change, 151; determined by acci- 
dental factors, 153; man's ability to 
improve upon normal processes of 
Nature, 167 

Cuvier, Georges, quoted, 14; concep- 
tion of unity of type, 28 

Dachshund, 125 

Danforth, C. H., 210 

Darwin, Charles, loan, 176; concep- 
tion of species, 13, 29; quoted, 10471 

Davenport, C. B., 207, 209; quoted, 
118, i2on 

Davenport, C. B., and M. Steggerda, 
41, 117, 119, 120, 207, 209 

Day, Caroline B., 202, 203, 209, 211 

Decency, fairness toward others a 
matter of, 93 

Declaration of Independence, 242; 
first principle, 243 

Defectives, problem can be attacked 
by social means alone, 145; cross- 
breeding will decrease incidence of, 


Degeneracies do not occur in hybrids, 

De generis humani varietate (Blu- 
menbach), excerpt, 12 

Delaware, tri-hybrid Moors and Nan- 
ticokes, 117 

Democracy, race and, 236-43; our op- 
portunity to extend to limits of 
earth, 238; fundamental principle 
of American, 242; must balance in- 
terests of component groups, 243; 
teaching about, too idealized, 253; 
Springfield community-school plan 
in education for, 253-58 



Disaster, repair of, an outlet for ag- 
gression, 85 

Diseases brought under control, 141; 
infectious, of the mind can be con- 
trolled, 254 

Disharmonies rare in hybrids, 128 

Diversity, true basis of collective 
achievement, 96 

"Divide and rule," 87 

Divisions of mankind, see Mankind 

Dixon, Governor, race hate kept alive 
by, 82n 

Dobzhansky, Theodosius, xiv; quoted, 
33,41,43, 144, 182, 186 

Dogs, bred for temperamental qual- 
ities, 47; no mental differences be- 
tween different color varieties of 
a breed, 47, 48; hybridization 
among, 121; crossing of defective 
stock with normal, 125; see also 
Animals, domesticated 

Dollard, John, 85, 215; quoted, 211, 

Domestication, 74 

Domestic workers, investigation of 
conditions of, 257 

Donkey, 106 

Dutch-Hottentot mixture, 126; hair, 

Ecologists needed, 78 

Economic conditions utilizable for 
good or evil, 85 

Economic factor and factor of social 
stratification, 78 88, fate of those 
denied effective participation in 
process, 78 

Economic rivalry most potent cause 
of war, 174 

Economic system a basic cause of rac- 
ism, 87 

Edinger, Ludwig, quoted, 56 

Education, processes can do little to 
ameliorate state of world, ix: facts 
made available by anthropology, 
66; for humanity first, 96: dissocia- 
tion between what is taught in 
schools and by life, 246; need to 
make cooperation principal pur- 
pose, 248; no concerted effort to 
teach children to become human 
beings, 250; need to organize a 
league for reform of, 251; Spring- 

field plan for immunizing children 
and adults against "racism," 253 

Educational exhibit dealing with 
races of mankind, 259 f. 

Educators produce in average adult 
the trained incapacity for human 
living, 250 

Ellis, Havelock, quoted, 173 

Elton, Lord, quoted, 15771 

Emotion, man a creature of, 244 

End effects, conditions producing, 37 

England, offspring of Negro-white 
unions in seaports, 120 

English, cultural development has 
led away from music, 59; attitude 
toward Negroes or Indians at home 
and in Africa or India, 80 

English-Tahitian crosses, 110 

Environment, 162, 163; environmental 
plasticity of mental characters, 58 

Equality, concept of, in progressive 
tradition, 97 

Eskimos, brain size, 59, 199 

Essai sur rindgalitd des races hu- 
maines (Gobineau), 22 

Ethnic groups, mixed, can never be 
genetically purified into original 
components, 3; not one pure, 5; 
distribution of variations, 6; averag- 
ing characters, 31; genetic drift or 
inherent variability, 38; primary 
factors responsible for physical dif- 
ferences, 39; roles of primary and 
secondary factors in producing 
racial variability, 40; blood group 
distribution, skin color, cephalic 
index distribution, 43; defined, 43, 
72; variability constitutes genetic 
proof of mixed character, 46; no 
process of mental selection opera- 
tive to produce different types of 
minds, 47; how new human variety 
was produced, 48; few mental dif- 
ferences, 56, 140; role of cultural 
variables, 57 ff.; physical differences 
do not reflect mental differences, 
60; variation an ecological problem, 
72. term "race" should be replaced 
by, 72; interbreeding, 100; all be- 
long to same species, 106; origin and 
evolution of human, 108,* effects of 
mixed, in Hawaii, 114-15; creative 
power of mixture, 130, 132 .; no 
argument on score of physical or 



biological structure, 137; mixture 
does not lead to intellectual dete- 
rioration, 138; utilization and inter- 
change of differences, 155; unique 
type, 192 (see also Negroes; Negroes, 
American); in our democracy, 236; 
no differences in innate or inherited 
qualities, 239, 240; existence of, 
proof that it possesses a majority of 
desirable qualities, 240; result of 
mixing, 242; state legislation against 
mixed marriages in U. S., 261-67; 
see also Mankind; "Race" 

Eugenics, genetics and race, 134-45; 
definition, 134; in service of class in- 
terests, 135; in disrepute among sci- 
entific students of genetics, 135, 
should be a social science, 136; 
heredity not sufficiently understood 
for attempt to improve human 
stock, 143 

Eugenists, 134; fallacy committed by, 


Europe shows us today where we may 
end, 238 

Evolution, materials of, discontin- 
uous, 13; materials represented by 
genes, 33; principal agencies in man, 
34; basic processes in, of all animal 
forms, 39; physical traits of Negro 
from standpoint of, 52; sociological 
and historical causes, 75; by muta- 
tion, 103; and by hybridization, 
103, 107; emergent, 105; in Nean- 
derthaloid people, 107; how advance 
in human, has been accomplished, 
146; purpose a product of blind 
forces, 165; role of cooperation, 
175 ff. 

Experience, culture a function of, 
146; mental and cultural differences 
accounted for on basis of, 150; new, 
the chief determinant of cultural 
change, 151 

Eyes of Negro, 202; of Jews, 223, 225 

Face, cast of, culturally determined, 

Fairness in dealing with different 

groups, 93, 94 
Fears, emotional association between 

aggressive feelings and, 91; acquired, 

168 f.; nurtured by isolation, 169 
Feeblemindedness, 136 

Fertility, of human hybrids, 106, 114; 

of plant and animal hybrids, H5f. 
Fetuses, Negro and white, 200 
Fighting, confusion of term with war, 

166; among animal, not war, 171 
Filipinos, prejudice against, 79 
Film forums, 256 
Film strip on race, 268 
Finot, Jean, 22 

Fischer, Eugen, 41, 126, 198, 209 
Fisher, R. A., quoted, 75 
Fleming, R. M., 120, 127 
Food, taste in, culturally determined, 

l-orce, confusion of term with war, 


Forums, public, 256 
Foundations of the Nineteenth Cen- 
tury (Chamberlain), 170 
Frequency distributions of physical 

characters, 48; see also Genes 
Frornm, Erich, quoted, 97 
Frustration, and race prejudice, 26, 

81, 83, 247; brings state of conflict, 

"Full-blood," meaning, 184 

Galton, Francis, quoted, 134 

Gates, Ruggles, 116 

Genes, materials of evolution repre- 
sented by, 33; distribution, 34-36, 
44, 48, 129 (see also Genetic drift); 
variability, 34, 39, 41; mutation, 38, 
39, 40; result of injection of new, 
into old stocks, 103; defective, char- 
acters carried in recessive state, 132, 
143; desirable characters carried in 
dominant state, 132; hereditary 
characters transmitted by, 147. 187; 
variety, 187 

Genetic drift or inherent variability, 
38, 40. 4i 

Genetics, genetical theory of "race," 
37-45; genetic systems of all living 
things behave according to same 
laws, 37; eugenics, and "race," 134- 
45; eugenics in disrepute among 
scientific students of, 135 

Genitalia in Negroes and in whites, 

Geniuses, of mixed ethnic ancestry, 

Geography, need to humanize teach- 
ing of, 65 

2 9 6 INDEX 

Georgia, statute for regulation of 
miscegenetic marriages, 26371 

German-Hottentot mixture, 126 

Germans, belong to same race as other 
people of Western Europe, 2; belief 
that Aryan is master race, 7, 23; dis- 
eased national egotism, 23; excel in 
art of creating myths, 23 f.; mytho- 
logical doctrines and practice of 
race hygiene, 135; will-to-war, 157; 
treatment of Jews, 237 

Germany and the Next War (Bern- 
hardi), excerpts, 156, 157 

Gibbons, 171 

Glaser, S., quoted, 214 

Gloger's rule, 49 

Gobineau, J. A. de, 21, 76 

God, 160 

Goddijn, W. A., 126 

Goethe, 11 

Goldstein, M. S., 116 

Goodness, innate tendencies toward, 


Gorder, L. van, 207 

Gorilla, 52; hair color, 3971 

Granrud, John, 253; appointment of 
teachers, 257 f.; quoted, 258 

Grant, Madison, 76, 124, 135; reac- 
tionary racist views, 7; quoted, 7, 

2271, IOO 

Great War, see World War 
Greece, ancient: caste and class dif- 
ferences, 8; attempt to link this up 
with biological factors, 9; civiliza- 
tion the creation of a highly hy- 
bridized people, 123 
Group antagonism, modern, g 
Groups, see Ethnic groups; Mankind; 

Grundlagen des neunzehnten Jahr- 

hunderts, 23 
Gunther, Hans, 227 

Haddon, A. C., 3, 71, 235 

Haemophilia, gene for, 34 

Hair, some forms due to mutation, 
34; kinky, 38, 52; of apes, 52; of 
Negroes and of white, 53; form 
yields readily to influence of new 
genes, 208; high frequency of red, 
among Amorites, 220; color among 
Jews, 224 

"Half-blood," meaning, 184 

Half-caste, 184; popular superstition 

re, 100; anomalous and ambiguous 
position; social status of children, 
101 ; regarded as outcast, 109 

Handy, E. S. C., 115 

Hankins, F. H., quoted, 133 

Hardenberg, Prince, 11 

Harris, facob, 113 

Hatt, Robert T., 259 

Hawaii, ethnic mixture, 114-15 

Head, differences in characters of, 3; 
not constant, 4; of Negro, 194; 
cranial sutures alleged to unite ear- 
lier in Negroes than in other races, 
195, 199; of Jews, 224, 225; percent- 
age distribution of head shape of 
Jews, 226 

Heiser, Victor, 202 

Herder, J. G. von, quoted, 11 

Heredity, 5, 162; separate traits, not 
complexes, have to be studied, 41; 
range of inherited capacities in two 
groups, 58; inherited disorders call 
for sterilization, 136; why not safe 
to meddle with, 143; blood has 
nothing to do with, genes transmit 
and determine characters, 186; 
Mendelian blending inheritance in 
mulattoes, 208 

Herrick, C. J., quoted, 57 

Herskovits, M. J., 41, 117, 204, 210 

Helerosis, see Hybrid vigor 

Hcterozygosis, 107 

Hirschfeld, Magnus, quoted, 227 

Hitler, Adolf, 76, 178, 236; spiritual 
progenitors of Mein Kampf, 23; 
provided Germans with an accept- 
able Weltanschauung, 24 

Hobbes, Thomas, quoted, 161 

Hogben, Lancelot, 71; quoted, i 

Homma, H., 214 

Homo sapiens, 43, 72 

Homozygosis, reestablished by in- 
breeding, 107; more rapid in small 
groups than in large, 107 

Hooton, Earnest A., 203; quoted, 209 

Horse, 47; mule the hybrid of a cross 
between donkey or ass and, 106; see 
also Animals, domesticated 

Hostility, race prejudice outlet for, 81 

Hottentot-white unions, 126; hair, 209 

Hotz, H., 22 

Household employment, standards 
for fair working conditions estab- 
lished, 257 



House Military Affairs Committee, 

iogn, 14071 
Hrdlicka, Ales', 101 
Human species, see Ethnic groups; 

Mankind; Race 
Humboldt, Alexander von, quoted, 

i5 43" 

Humboldt, Wilhelm von, quoted, 15 

Hunt, James. 2o 

Huxley, Aldous, xi, xii, xv; Foreword, 

Huxley, Julian S., 71, 72, 138; quoted, 

Huxley, Julian S., and A. C. Haddon, 
235; quoted, 3 

Huxley, T. H., 3071 

Hybridization, 39; effect of interbreed- 
ing of ethnic groups, 102; funda- 
mental process of evolution, 102; 
distortion of facts, 105; notion that 
it results in sterility, 106; example 
of evolution by, 107; production of 
new human types through, 108; 
human, proceeding at rapid rates, 
108; under favorable social condi- 
tions, 111; among dogs, 121; no 
form of human, biologically unde- 
sirable, 124, 132; disharmonies rare, 
degeneracies do not occur, 128; in 
mixed human populations, 131; 
blossoming of new civilization due 
to, 131; see also Hybrid vigor; Race 

Hybrids, first generation, 106; treat- 
ment at hands of whites, 109; long 
lived, no; tri-hybrid Scminole In- 
dians, 1 16; occasional assymetric 
inheritance, 121; animal hybrids, 
128; true, 130; see also Half-caste 

Hybrid vigor, meaning, 104; in first 
generation of hybrids, 106: in de- 
scendants of Polynesian-white un- 
ions, 110; the rule in aboriginal- 
white crosses: reproductive and sur- 
vival rates, 113; increase in stature 
and fertility in plants and animals 
characteristic of, ii5f.; among 
South African hybrids, 126; an im- 
portant feature of race crosses in 
man, 130; "luxuriation" of hybrids, 

Iberian peninsula, population of 
complex descent, 123 

Ideas, implementing right, with 

power of their conviction, 246 
Ideen zur Philosophic der Geschichte 

der Menschheit (Herder), 11 
Ignorance, most, is voluntary, ix 
Inbreeding, 39, 42; advantages of out- 
breeding and, compared, 103; tends 
to stabilize type and to produce de- 
crease in vigor, 107; danger, 144 
Indeterminacy, principle of, 163 
Indians, American: treated as mem- 
bers of a specific caste, 68; why not 
enslaved, 71; "race" prejudice 
against, 79; Indian-white crosses, 
115-17; brain size, 199 

East: English attitude toward, 80 

Individuals, traits utilized in genera- 
tion of racial enmities, 89; none su- 
perior by virtue of group affiliation, 
95; the incompletely developed and 
the developed personality, 95; dif- 
ferences will always exist between, 
147; differences have little to do 
with race, 240 
Inheritance, see Heredity 
Intellect, see Mental qualities 
Interbreeding, see Hybridization; 

Race mixture 
Intergeneric crosses, 106 
Intermarriage, see Miscegenation 
Interspecific crosses, 106 
Irish setter, 47 

Isolating factors, social and geo- 
graphic, 44 

Jacks, L. P., quoted, 172 
Jamaicans, mixed-breed, 117; limb 
proportion and stature, 118, 119; 
hair, 209 

James, Henry, quoted, 180 
James, William, 170 
Japanese, brain size, 59, 199 
Japanese Americans, treated as mem- 
bers of a specific caste, 68; prejudice 
against, 79, 85; Californians refuse 
to permit loyal citizens to return to 
their homes, 86; fighting as Amer- 
ican citizens and soldiers, 169; dec- 
orations for bravery, 170 
Jennings, H. S., 119, 120; quoted, 130 
Jews, singled out for discrimination 
and persecution, 9; children aware 
that hostility toward, is socially 
sanctioned, 64; in Union of South 


Jews (Continued) 

Africa, 82; are they a "race"? 218; 
behavioral traits, 218; a much 
mixed group, 220; not character- 
ized by a community of physical 
characters, 221; Diaspora, 221; Yid- 
dish language, 222; plundered and 
massacred, 222; Ashkenazim and 
Sephardirn, 222; physical chaiac- 
ters: eyes, 223, 225; hair color: form 
of head, 224; no Jewish physical 
type, "race," or ethnic group, 226, 
228, 235; nose, 227; quality of look- 
ing Jewish, 228; quasi-national 
character, 228, 229, 235; what makes 
one a Jew, 229; necessity of aggres- 
siveness forced upon, 232; gesticula- 
tions, 232; brain power, 233; linked 
with whatever is desirable to dis- 
credit, 237; imposition of a purely 
mythological dogma upon, 237 

Jourdain, Monsieur, 161 

Journal des Sgavans, 18 

Kaffirs, brain size, 59, 199 

Kahler, Eric, quoted, 146 

Kant, 11, 178 

Keegan, J. J., 198 

Keith, Sir Arthur, 166, 174, 178; views 
on nature of war and its relation to 
race prejudice, 158; quoted, 159, 
165; overstepped frontiers of his 
own field, 159; on Nature, 160; 
"race-prejudice," 168; war nature's 
"pruning hook," 177 

Kidd, Benjamin, 168 

Killing of animals or plants not neces- 
sary, 166 

Kisar, island of: Mongoloid Indone- 
sian native-white hybrids, 127 

Klineberg, Otto, xii, 77, 213; quoted, 


Krauss, William, 115 
Kretschmer, Ernst, 131 
Krogman, W. M., 117 
Kropotkin, Prince, 175 

Langmuir, Irving, quoted, 141 
Law, all is determined by, 161 
Lawrence, 213 
Legislation against miscegenation in 

U.S., 771, 135, 261-67 
Leibnitz on nature of peoples, 17 
Levin, G., 198 
Lhamon, R. H., 214 

Life expectation in modern times, 141 

Limson, Marciano, 200 

Lindala, Anna, 203, 206 

Linnaeus, 28 

Linton, Ralph, quoted, 14 

Lips, of Negro, 52; of ape, 52 

Locke, John, quoted, 161 

Lorentz, Pare, 268 

Lotsy, J. P., and W. A. Goddijn, 126 

Low German-Hottentot mixture, 126 

Lukin, E. I., 49 

Luther, 24 

"Luxuriation" of hybrids, 131 

Lyon, D. W., 199 

MacCrone, I. D., quoted, 92 

Magdalenian Age, 174 

Malafa, R., 205 

Malinowski, Bronislaw, quoted, 174 

Mall, F. P., 197 

Man, Real and Ideal (Conklin), 180 

Mankind, extreme types, 3; no satis- 
factory classification devised, 4, 31, 
46; four distinctive stocks or divi- 
sions, 5; differences between divi- 
sions and between ethnic groups 
comprising them, 6; all probably 
derived from same ancestral stock, 
6, 46, 137; essential unity, 13, 
16, 45, 49, 149, 154, 241; rela- 
tive physical and mental qual- 
ity, 15; voyages of discovery re- 
vealed many new varieties, 18; ef- 
forts to establish criteria by which 
races might be defined, 30; genetical 
theory of "race," 37-45; families or 
groups dispersed by migration be- 
come geographically isolated, 38; 
secondary factors in production of 
genetic variety, 39, 42; biological 
facts, 46-61; human varieties prob- 
ably differ only in distribution of 
a small number of genes, 46; range 
of variation in varieties, 47; mental 
differences due to factors of a cul- 
tural nature, 48; physical charac- 
ters, 48: represent successful at- 
tempts at adaptation to environ- 
ment, 49; no evidence that any 
people is mentally superior or in- 
ferior, 60; develops through social 
and physical environment, 62, 74; 
no group is static and immutable, 
75; one of greatest creative powers 
in progress of, 133; methods of 



geneticists breeding laboratory can- 
not be applied to, 143; generalized 
urges, 148; differences accounted for 
on basis of difference in experience, 
150; from socio-biological stand- 
point, 153; owes supremacy to un- 
determined chance relations, 163; 
confused morality of Western, 167; 
in a position to control his own 
evolution, 167; no evidence of war- 
fare among extinct varieties, 172 f.; 
tendency to exploit his fellow man, 
174; divisions of, see Ethnic groups; 

Man on His Nature (Sherrington), 175 

Maori-white unions, 111 

Mathew, John, quoted, 113 

May, Andrew J., distortion of facts, 

Maya-Spanish crosses in Yucatan, 116 

Mein Kanipf (Hitler), 23 

Melanesia, 115 

Mendel, G. J., 33, 41, 186 

Mendelian laws, distribution of phys- 
ical traits in crosses follow, 1 14 

Mental qualities, no selection opera- 
tive to produce different types, 47; 
skin color not associated with, 47; 
differences due to cultural factors, 
48, 57, 150; relative, of all mankind, 
54 if., 60, 138; interacting factors, 
56; environmental plasticity, 58; at- 
titudes of mind, 93-99; not associ- 
ated with genes linked with any 
physical character, 137; ethnic mix- 
ture does not lead to deterioration, 
138; intelligence a function of cul- 
tural experience as well as of inher- 
ent quality, 138; claim to biolog- 
ically determined, of races is not 
tenable, 234 

Merton, Robert K., xii; quoted, 83 

Mestizo population of Mexico, 116 

Migration, 38; a factor in genetic va- 
riety of mankind, 42 

Mill, John Stuart, quoted, 149 

Miller, Clyde R., 255 

Mind, interacting factors, 56; atti- 
tudes, 93-99 (see also Mental qual- 
ities); ability to control, 178 

Minority groups, few would hesitate 
to use them to their own advantage, 
247 f . 

Miscegenation, Mississippi law against 
printing matter in favor of, 771; 

social barriers against, act as isolat- 
ing factors, 44; evils attributed to, 
100; state legislation against, in 
U.S., 135, 261-67; geographic lines 
of legislation prohibiting, 261, 262 

Missing links, 14 

Mississippi, discrimination against 
Negroes, *jn 

Mixed -breeds, see Hybrids 

Mixed marriages, see Miscegenation 

Moloy, H. C., 206 

Mongolians, legislation prohibiting 
intermarriage with, 261 

Mongoloid stock or division of man- 
kind, 5 

Mongoloid-white crosses, 127; among 
Russians, 2 

Mongrelization, 122 

Monkeys, skin color, 50 

Montagu, Audrey, xiv 

Moors of Delaware, 117 

Moral and Intellectual Diversity of 
Races, (Gobineau, tr. Hotz), 22 

Morant, G. M., quoted, 36 

Morphological characters and phy- 
sique, attempts to base classification 
on, misleading, 13 

Motives, 134 

Mulattoes, see under Negroes 

Mule, an interspecific cross, 106, 129 

Mussolini, Benito, quoted, 63 

Mutation, gene, 34, 38; frequency un- 
known, 40; physical differences be- 
tween races represent end effects of 
small gene mutations, 41; all, is 
random, 163; see also Evolution; 
Species; Variation 

Myrdal, Gunnar, quoted, son 

Nabours, R. K., quoted, 128 

Nanticokes of Delaware, 117 

National Conference of Christians 
and Jews, 253 

"Nationality and Race" (Keith), 159 

"Natural antagonisms," 174 

Natural selection, 145 

Nature, 160 ff.; a composite of chance 
relations, 162; a term without defi- 
nite meaning, 164; war of, 165 

Nature (periodical), excerpt, 26 

Nazi ism, race theories, 6, 188; repre- 
sent ludicrous and vicious mythol- 
ogy, 24, 79; assuming form of a na- 
tional religion, 25; monster let loose 
upon the world, 236 



Nazis, Weltanschauung, xiv 

Neanderthal man, cranial capacity, 54; 
evolution by hybridization, 107, 108 

Negritoes, Philippine, 202 

Negroes, hair, 38, 39, 52, 208; skin 
color, 39, 49, 207, 208; effect of in- 
termarriage with whites, 44; adapted 
to meet intense sunlight, 49, 50, 51; 
physical traits from evolutionary 
standpoint, 52; lips, 52; nose, 53, 201; 
Negro-white crosses, 117-27; classical 
study of descendants of Hottentots 
and whites, 126; qualities of the 
mulatto, 129, 208; lower average in- 
telligence not scientifically estab- 
lished, 138; blood identical with 
that of all other human beings, 
190; anthropometric characters, 193; 
brain, 194, 199; cranial sutures al- 
leged to unite early, 195, 199: head, 
200 ff.; skull: jaw, 200; entrenched 
characters, 202, 208; eye, 202; 
hands: length of limbs, 203 ff.; foot, 
205; pelvis, 206; body odor, 211 ff.; 
sweat glands, 214; genitalia, 215 

American, 5; discrimination 

against, 7; gene distribution, 44; 
treated as members of a specific 
caste, 68; original difference in 
status one of caste, not of biology, 
70; physical difference utilized as 
argument to continue depressed so- 
cial status, 71; social status in South 
and North, -80; intelligence of white 
and Negro children in Los Angeles 
schools, iogn; developing new eth- 
nic type, 117; increase in popula- 
tion, 118; as biological type, 126, 
217; intelligence tests, Negro and 
white recruits, 139; segregation of 
blood of, for purposes of transfu- 
sion, 189; myths relating to physical 
characters, 192-217; one of newest 
varieties of mankind, 192; signifi- 
cance of anthropometric differences, 
194 ff,; head, 194; glabrousness, 210; 
sweat glands, 214; mustn't matter, 
234n; few would hesitate to exploit, 
247 f.; investigation of social and 
economic conditions of, in Spring- 
field, 257 

Jamaican, 117 

Negroid or black stock or division of 
mankind, 5 

"Negro's Place in Nature, The" 
(Hunt), 2orc 

Nervous system, 55; interacting fac- 
tors, 56 

Neuman, A. A., xiv 

New Deal, white and black in South 
aided by, 82*1 

New Tools for Learning, 268 

New York University Film Library, 

New Zealand, Maori-white unions, in 

Nietzsche, F. W., 165 

Noble savage, 1 1 

Norfolk Island, hybrids, no 

North Borneo, low birth rate of in- 
land compared with coastal popula- 
tions, 103 

Nose, of Negro, 53, 201; and of white, 
53; cartilage, 202; broad, an en- 
trenched Negro character, 202; of 
Jews, 227 

Novalis, 11 

Oakesmith, John, quoted, 23 

Oceania, white-aboriginal hybridiza- 
tion throughout, 115 

Octoroons, one piece cartilage in nose, 

Oklahoma, tri-hybrid Seminole In- 
dians, 116 

Ontario, Indian-white crosses in, 116 

On the Natural Variety of Mankind 
(Blumenbach), excerpt, 12 

Osborn, Henry Fairfield, 101, 135; re- 
actionary racist views, 7 

Outbreeding, 39, 42; advantages com- 
pared with those of inbreeding, 103; 
increases variability of type and 
augments vigor, 107; recessives asso- 
ciated with dominants remain unex- 
pressed, 144; see also Hybridization 

Overweight reduced in hybrid, 114 

Passing of the Great Race, The 
(Grant), excerpt, 22W 

Patten, William, 175 

Paul et Virginie (Saint Pierre), n 

Peace, no instinct toward, in man, 178 

Pekingese, 125 

Penis of Negroes and of whites, 215 

Personality, the incompletely devel- 
oped and the developed, 95 

Physical character, intergradation 
and overlapping, 3; appearance ac- 



quired through action of inherited 
genes, 147; differences purely ex- 
ternal, 239; become basis for social 
discrimination, 240 
Pigmentation, see Skin color 
Pitcairn Island hybrids, no, in 
Pittsburgh, adoption of Springfield 

Plan in school system, 258 
Plant geneticists, hybrids produced 

by, 105 
Plants, physical differences found in 

geographical and genetic races, 5 
Plato, 161 
"Plough That Broke the Plains, The" 

(Lorentz), 268 

Poles, treatment of Jews, 237 
Poll-tax, South's fight against bill to 

remove, 82*1 
Politicians incite to riot and murder: 

keep "race" issue alive, 87 
Pollard, A. P., quoted, 161, 166 
Polyhybridization, 131 
Polynesians, brain size, 59, 199 
Polynesian- white crosses, 110-11, 114- 


Populations, 41, 43; problem of phys- 
ical mobility, 72 

Portugal, population of complex de- 
scent, 122 

Post, R. H., quoted, 210 

Poynter, C. W. M., and J. J. Keegan, 


Prejudice, early, difficult to eradicate, 
66; no animal or human born with, 
168; see also Race prejudice; Reli- 
gious discrimination 

Prichard, 4471 

Principles of Political Economy (Mill), 
excerpt, 149 

Proletariat, struggle against emanci- 
pation of, 22 

Propaganda, 174 

Psychological Examining in the 
United States Army (Yerkes), 139 

Psychological factors of "race" prob- 
lem, 62, 89-99 

Psychology, American, 239 

Public Affairs Committee, Inc., 268 

Public opinion, unit study in, 255 

Purposes made, not found, 165 

"Pure-blood," meaning, 184 

Quota Act, Union of South Africa, 82 

"Race," problem has assumed exag- 
gerated importance, xi; origin of 
concept, 1-26; in biological sense, 2, 
6; term begs the question, 4; in the 
genetic sense, 6; typical conception 
of, the tragic myth of our tragic era, 
8; biological concept of differences 
a result of slave trade, 10; social 
differences turned into biological 
difference, 20; modern concept a 
product of emotional reasoning, 25; 
anthropological concept, 27-36; in- 
troduction of term, 28; indictment 
against anthropological concept of, 
35; genetical theory, 37-45; funda- 
mental postulates of concepts, 38; 
roles of primary and secondary fac- 
tors, 39; dynamic condition, 40; 
fundamental units of variability, 
41; re-defined, 42; and society, 62- 
73; an event rather than a term, 
62; methods of disseminating re- 
sults of study of, 64 ff .; early preju- 
dices re, difficult to eradicate, 66; 
biological and social factors, 67, 74- 
88; and caste, 67 ff., 75; term should 
be dropped, 68, 71; meaninglessness 
of older anthropological conception, 
71; replacement of concept of, by 
concept of ethnic group, 72 (see also 
Ethnic groups); new races synthe- 
sized rapidly, 75; methodological 
aspect of problem, 76; sociologists 
need understanding of physical and 
mental development, 78; economic 
factor and social stratification, 78- 
88; psychological factors, 89-99; P sv " 
chological factor overlooked, 93; 
eugenics, genetics and, 134-45; 
deterioration claimed without ben- 
efit of knowledge of facts, 141; 
deteriorative factors could be elim- 
inated by improving social environ- 
ment, 142; and culture, 146-55; and 
war, 156-79; race sentiment a recent 
development, 170, 172; race senti- 
ment a recent acquisition of man, 
170, 172; and blood, 180-91; concept 
which equates inheritance with 
transmission of characters through 
blood, 189; and democracy, 236-43; 
dangerous myth of, 241; educational 
exhibit dealing with, 259 f.; film 
strip on, 268 



Race mixture, "race omelette," 31-34; 
creative power of, 100-33; popular 
superstition re, 100; cross-breeding 
of ethnic groups, 108; Polynesian- 
white crosses, 110-11, 114-15; Aus- 
tralian-white crosses, 111-14; ethnic 
mixture in Hawaii, 114-15; ethnic 
mixture between Indians and 
whites, 115-17; Negro-white crosses, 
117-27; Mongoloid -white crosses, 
127; Chinese-white crosses, 127-33; 
process in which creative power of, 
shows itself, 130; blends of future, 
133; eugenists believe should be 
prevented, 136; crossbreeding may 
decrease incidence of defectives, 145; 
see also Hybridization; Miscegena- 

Race prejudice, in children, 64; can 
be prevented, 67; and class preju- 
dice, 69; nonexistent in classless so- 
ciety of Soviet republics, 70, Son; 
economic factor and social strati- 
fication. 78-88; socially sanctioned 
and directed, 81, 87; most people 
exhibit evidence of, 89; aggressive- 
ness expressed in, 91, 247; result of 
deliberate education and cultiva- 
tion, 94, 154, 168, 170, 171, 247; ef- 
fect of an incompletely developed 
personality, 95; solution, 96, 244-51; 
process of rationalization, 98; origin 
of, in U.S., 98; Keith's views on, 
158 (see also Keith, A.); belief in 
biological justification of war based 
on, 158; expressed as national ri- 
valries and jealousies, 168; a recent 
acquisition of man, 170, 172; flaring 
of latent enmities in times of eco- 
nomic stress, 242; weapon with 
which minorities have been beaten, 
242; Springfield Plan most practical 
scheme developed for combating, 

8 5 8 

"Race -prej udice -biological -nature- of - 

war" school, 158 
Races of Mankind, The (Benedict 

and Weltfish), 10971, i4on 
Race theory immoral, unnatural, and 

irrational, 23; and assuming form 

of a national religion, 25 
"Racial" dogma, mythological, of 

Nazi ism, 79 
"Racial" interpretation a modern 

"discovery," 8, 9 

Racism, a vicious political doctrine, 
xiv; a weapon of imperialistic poli- 
tics, 17; doctrine of, implicit in 
eugenic movement, 134; a disease 
due to infection by false ideas, 


Racist views, reactionary, 7 

Ramahyuck, aboriginal school, 113 

Ranson, S. W., quoted, 56 

Red Cross segregation of blood of Ne- 
groes for transfusion, 189 

Regne animal, Le (Cuvier), 14 

Rehoboth Bastaards of South Africa, 
126; hair, 209 

Religio Medici (Browne), 170 

Religious discrimination, Springfield 
plan for combating, 253-58 

Renan, Ernest, quoted, 24 

Reuter, Edward B., quoted, 88 

Ride, L. T., quoted, 103 

"River, The" (Lorentz), 268 

Rodenwaldt, Ernst, 127 

Roman conquest, 151, 152; effect of 
cultural stimulation upon develop- 
ment which followed, 59 

Rome, attempt to link biological fac- 
tors with idea of race superiority 9; 
did better by its subject peoples 
than Britain, 152 

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 82 n 

Roosevelt, Franklin D., aid of admin- 
istration to white and black in 
South, 82n 

Rosenberg, Alfred, quoted, 188 

Royal Anthropological Institute, 36 

Russia, influence of Mongoloid ad- 
mixture in population, 2; in class- 
less society of Soviet republics, 
"race" prejudice is nonexistent, 70; 
management of ethnic group rela- 
tions in Soviet Union, 80 

Saint George or the Dragon (Elton), 
excerpt, 15771 

Saint-Pierre, Bernardin de, u 

Sanchez, Francesco, 246 

Savages on whole not warlike, 173 

Schools, work they can do in clarify- 
ing facts re varieties of man, 65; 
must teach facts which anthropol- 
ogy has made available, 66; dissoci- 
ation between what is taught in, 
and by life, 246; see also Education 

Schultz, A. H., 200, 204 



Scientists have done little to establish 
facts about race, i 

Selection, part in determination of 
skin color, 39; natural, sexual, and 
social, 39, 41, 42, 44 

Self-interest, dominance of, brings so- 
cial disorganization, 247 

Seminole Indians of Oklahoma, tri- 
hybrid, 116 

Sephardim, 222 

Servants, see Domestic workers 

Shannon, A. H., quoted, 196 

Shapiro, H. L., quoted, no 

Shaw, G. Bernard, 160 

Shelley, quoted, 40 

Sherrington, Sir Charles, 175 

Shufeldt, R. W., 212; quoted, 195 

Sichel, 227 

Singer, Charles, quoted, 160 

Skin cancer reduced by hybridization, 


Skin color, effect of mutation of genes, 
34, 39; not associated with mental 
capacity, 47; black a character of 
adaptive value, 49; darkening of, 
under sunlight, 50 

Skull of Negroes and whites, 200 

Slavery, stratified society based upon, 
9; biological concept of race differ- 
ences developed as result of, 10; 
kept subject of race differences at 
lively heat, 16, 19 

Slaves, in high positions in Church 
and State, 10; refutation of claim 
that extinction of ancient stocks 
followed absorption of alien, 122 

Smith, Adam, 173 

Smith, Sidney, 2371 

Smuts, Jan Christiaan, 83 

Snobbery, 241 

Social barriers act as isolating factors, 


Social class, biological character of, 9 

Social conditions, biological develop- 
ment influenced by, 74-88; form of 
mind and of body dependent upon, 
98; elimination of deteriorative fac- 
tors by improvements in environ- 
ment, 142; ills produced by socially 
inadequate individuals, 142 

Social problems, attack upon, an out- 
let for aggressiveness, 85 

Social sciences, confusion re subject of 
race, 67 

Social status determined by blood, 184 

Social stratification and economic fac- 
tor, 78-88 

Social thoroughbreds, 135 

Society, and "race," 62-73; m u st pro- 
vide outlets for aggressiveness, 93; 
responsibility for elimination of 
race prejudice, 96; depends upon 
ability of mind to control, 178 

Sociologist, problem of caste of no bio- 
logical relevance to, 73 

South, race prejudice, 80, 81; people's 
enemies have taken over people's 
movement, 82n 

South Africa, hybrids, 126 

South Africa, Union of: prejudice 
against Jews, 82 

Soviet Union, see Russia 

Sowden, Lewis, 82 

Spain, population of complex descent, 

Spanish-Indian crosses in Mexico, 116 

Spanish-Maya crosses in Yucatan, 116 

Species, continuity, 14; Aristotelian 
concept of, 28; concepts of Linnaeus, 
Blumenbach, and Cuvier, 28; of 
Darwin, 29; no longer fixed and 
immutable, 29; what human con- 
sists of, 35 

Species population, 41, 43 

Speke, J. H., 173 

Spencer, Herbert, 175 

Spender, Stephen, 245 

Spinoza, B., 178 

Springfield, Mass., community -school 
plan in education for democracy 
and cooperation, 251, 253-58; how 
plan is set up, 255; how it functions: 
adult education, 256; outside the 
school: leaders also learn, 257; the 
city, 257 f.; most practical scheme 
for combating "race" prejudice, 

Stael, Madame de, quoted, 63 

State, foundations, 173 

Steggerda, Morris, 41, n7ff. passim, 
207. 209 

Sterility, notion that hybridization re- 
sults in, 106 

Sterilization, 136 

Stockard, Charles, quoted, m; his 
reasoning refuted, 122 ff. 

Stockbreeding, 108 

Stoddard, Lothrop, 76; reactionary 
racist views, 7 

Struggle, term confused with war, 166 


"Sub-races," new, created upon basis of 
differences in characters of head, 3 

Sullivan, L. R., 116 

Sumner, Charles, 241 

Sunlight, effect upon skin color, 50; 
effect upon pigmentless tissues, 51 

Suture closure in Negroes and whites, 

i95> 199 
Sweat, 212 
Sweat glands, 214 

Tahitian-English crosses, no 

Teachers, see Educators 

Temperament, differences, 239; Amer- 
ican, 239 

Tennyson, Alfred, quoted, 161 

Terrors, see Fears 

Tertullian, quoted, 81 

Thoroughbreds, social, 135 

Tindale, N. B., quoted, 113 

Tirala, Lothar G., 6, 7 

Todd, T. Wingate, 194, 202 

Todd, T. W., and L. van Gorder, 207 

Todd, T. W., and A. Lindala, 203; 
quoted, 206 

Todd, T. W., and D. W. Lyon, 199 

Tolerance, 94 

Town meeting, non partisan political, 

Traits, see Characteristics 

Unions, offspring of mixed, see Hy- 
brid vigor 

United States, discrimination against 
Negro, 7; caste system, 68; relation- 
ship between economic factor and 
racial barriers, 79; stress on pecu 
niary success invites antisocial be- 
havior, 84; disappearance of Old 
American stock, 100; state legisla 
tion against mixed marriages, 261 
67; race prejudice see California; 
Race prejudice; South 

Army, suppression of pamphlet 

for use by, logn, 14071; comprehen- 
sive alpha test: white recruits from 
South compared with Negro recruits 
from North, 139 

Congress, House Military Affairs 

Committee, 10971, 14071 

Constitution, state laws that con- 
travene, 262 

Universe, 161, 163 

Urges, biological, culturally con- 
trolled, 148 

U.S.S.R., see Russia 

Variability, gene, 34, 39 

Variations, distribution, see under 

Ethnic groups 
Vernier, C. G., 261 
Victoria, Queen, mutation of blood 

group genes, 34 
Vigor, see Hybrid vigor 
Voltaire, quoted, xiv, 160 

Wales, offspring of Negro-white un- 
ions in seaports, 120 

Wallace, Henry A., 242; quoted, 77 

Wallis-Carteret, 18 

War, and "race," 156-79; biological 
justification, 157, 158; cost in lives 
and dollars. 157, 158; confusion of 
terms, 166; for conquest unknown 
among primitive peoples, 172 f.; 
economic rivalry most potent cause, 
174; animals will not war upon own 
species, 171; most unnatural of all 
animal activities, 172; kills off best, 
177; concept of, as an agency of 
natural selection breaks down, 178; 
no instinct for, in man, 179 

"War of Nature," 165 

"We Are All Brothers: What Do You 
Know about Race?" 268 

Weltfish, Gene, 10972, 14072, 268 

Western Europe, all people of, belong 
to same race, 2 

Western World, deplorable state of 
thought, 167 

White stock, see Archaic white; Cau- 

White-Tahitian crosses, 110 

Williams, G. D., 116 

Words rule lives, 180 

Wordsworth, William, quoted, 16 1 

World War I: cost in men and money, 

World War II, 237; cost to kill a man, 


Wright, Sewall, quoted, 108 
Wundt, Wilhelm, quoted, 21 

Yerkes, R. M., 139 

Yiddish language, 222 

Yucatan, Maya-Spanish crosses, 116 

Zirkle, Conway, xii